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No, I Didn’t Unfriend You Because of Politics

Ah, Facebook, the realm of unwarranted opinions, unfactual headlines, and comments left on your photos by family members you haven’t spoken to in twelve years. If you’re like me, you recently found out a lot about your friends via the internet. Election season came and went just as your sanity did, and now the boy you once were convinced you would marry back in middle school wears fedoras and argues against Black Lives Matter over Facebook statuses.

The term “politics” seems to be thrown around in heaps, and as a result, you have probably heard variations of sentiments encouraging you to accept your “friends” for who they are. (Even if who they are is racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, or sexist.) I am here to give you the green light on hitting that unfriend button on those once trusty cat-video-sharing-turned-scary-and-hateful acquaintances.

Politics is an umbrella word that shades over narratives that are either progressive or conservative, moderate or unwilling, angry or accepting. The idea that “unfriending” a person based on politics derives from the generalization that those passionate about their civil duty are whiny or sensitive, and while it’s easy to be fooled into that notion, it is just not truth.

In “real life”, you have the right to choose who you want to see on an everyday basis, and if those people are saying hurtful things in your presence, you’re probably not likely to keep them around for long. Pro tip: same goes for the vast and magical internet. That neighbor of yours that causally says the N word? You are not obligated to keep them in your circle because you feel guilty that they let you use their phone that one time but you secretly hate them. Because this past election dug up ugly truths of anti-human rights, the aforementioned Facebook posts are no longer about right or left “politics”, they have become a cry of conviction in the divided system, namely, democracy.

If you don't want to be subject to verbal abuse on the screen or off the screen, you have a right to do so. Do not be fooled into the internet space trap where you are obligated to put up with everything you read. Just because the words you’re reading are on a screen, doesn’t mean they don’t hold the same value of damage.

Just an overly opinionated gal from Texas trying to be heard in San Francisco. University of San Francisco Chapter.
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