22 Jan Why I’ve Unfriended You, Or Deleted Your Posts, On Facebook
In the past year I’ve been disappointed when someone I’ve been friends with for years is suddenly passing on fake news, graphics and opinions that are, to my mind, appalling. And to be fair, many of my Facebook friends have found some of my posts to be horrifying as well. I’ve taken to telling people that if they don’t agree with what I put on my personal page they can hide or unfriend me. And if what they’ve written in response to my postings offends me, I don’t hesitate to delete it.
People who have “friended me” come to my personal Facebook page and object not only to my opinions but to the fact that I’m putting it up in the first place. And they are annoyed if I remove their remarks. “So much for tolerance…” one man recently objected. Others tell me that I’m not “helping to heal this country.”
Let me explain why I’ve removed you or your opinion:
A personal Facebook page is just that: personal. It is my house and it contains what I choose. The posts that I put up are like a meal that I’m serving to invited guests. If I provide a meal for friends they may not like it, but they should not be so rude to tell me that they hate my cooking, my choice in dinnerware, or the ingredients I’ve combined. And they surely wouldn’t tell me why I was wrong to cook this dish or how someone else prepares food so much better.
If guests in my home don’t like what I’ve served they can make excuses and go home…or to a restaurant where the menu is more to their liking. But they are not allowed to tell me to “stay out of the kitchen” – or to tell me I shouldn’t be cooking. And should they be rude enough to do so, it is reasonable for me to show them the door.
As a person who has a public role in the world of gardening, I’m frequently told on my Facebook posts to “stick with gardening.” Which is another way to say, “stay in your place” or “keep out of the kitchen.” I respond to these people that if they don’t like my political views, they should follow The Garden Lady on Facebook – that’s my page that is all gardening all the time. No politics is cultivated there. But on my personal page I get to be a whole person. My personal page is a virtual kitchen where I can cook what I like, using ingredients as varied and spicy as I wish.
There are many places I’m happy to come together with those of differing political views. Let’s gather around gardening, the importance of good public schools, and supporting local businesses. Let’s walk the dogs together and promote area musicians and the arts. Let’s network there.
But when you’re invited into my kitchen on Facebook, you’re not allowed to criticize my cooking.