Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Most Annoying Facebook Friend on Planet Earth

In my "real life," I am pretty active on Facebook. I like it. It's also quite helpful. It's helped me find freelance gigs, helped me find reasonable contractors to work on my home, helped me to set some friends up on blind dates, and helped me to promote a friend's political hobbies. Very, very helpful. It's also fun. I can wax rhetoric on politics, religion, relationships, etc. Of course, I do that here too, but here it's anonymous. Over there it's me. And I do enjoy it when my friends jump into the fray. I love a good debate.

But I like to argue with thinkers. With people who are intellectually honest. With people who may not agree with me, but at least are well-meaning, intelligent, funny, and smart.

A while back, a guy, let's call him Ricky, friended me. I searched my memory banks for how I knew Ricky, and it seemed that we dated very briefly when I was in my twenties. Very, very briefly. I have a flash of a memory of throwing a perfectly good bouquet of roses in the trash. If it's the same guy, I think I dumped Ricky for good cause.

So Ricky friends me. It's a million years later and we are both married to other people, and I figure, ok Ricky, I'll be your friend. Ricky is a very green, very liberal, somewhat socialist-leaning, government-will-take-care-of-all-your-problems, very progressive lobbyist in Washington. But that's not the part that annoys me. I actually have one other friend who is a prominent member of a progressive D.C. think-tank, and though his posts are as leftist as the sun is bright, at least he is a thinker. I disagree with him on everything, but he considers before he posts. I actually enjoy shredding his posts and he enjoys attacking mine. We mix it up and it's good for both of us. But that's not Ricky.

No, Ricky is a feeler. Worse, he is totally in the tank and won't consider any other points of view. He posts long-winded, idiotic diatribes about how the earth is on its way to being destroyed because of carbon dioxide emissions, how George Bush is Satan, how Barack Obama will save us, how all Republicans (especially me) hold Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity up as their intellectual gods, how he feels practically orgasmic about recycling, etc. He cites left wing blog post editorials as facts, even if they are not and they usually are not. He has no sense of humor. He takes everything, EVERYTHING, seriously. He cites silly, irrelevant, source-free statistics that no one believes. He spouts seriously ignorant urban legends about Judaism (he's Jewish But Clueless). He is difficult to argue with because he discards facts as they become available. He argues like a child. I want to flick him off my Facebook friend list like a gnat. But I can't.

Why can't I? Because 1) I don't want him to think that I unfriended him because he is a liberal or because I disagree with him. I have been unfriended because people find me too conservative and I think it's small-minded of them. No, I want to unfriend him because he is annoying. 2) He is a very sensitive guy and I don't want to hurt his feelings. I know you think this is silly, but this is the kind of guy who would email me after the unfriending and ask where he went wrong (oh God) and along those lines: 3) I think when we were were dating, I dumped him badly. Very badly. I have residual guilt. Finally, and this is a side of myself that I don't particularly like: 4) a part of me is fascinated by how utterly annoying he can be. He comments on at least every other status update, and virtually every link I post. He "likes" almost everything. He has verbally insulted my husband in a political argument. My hyperintellectual husband loves to hate this guy and thinks I should keep him on just for giggles. But I hate myself for wanting to be irritated by him. He's too easy.

I wish there were some way to keep him from seeing my posts without unfriending him. Advice, dear readers?


Anonymous said...

Yeah, Webgirl, heres some advice. Drop the asshole like a stone. Period.

Abandoning Eden said...

Just defriend him, you have no obligation to stay facebook friends with annoying guys you dating briefly years ago. (I should probably take my own advice and defriend the dude I dated for like 2 weeks 10 years ago who felt it was his duty to tell me he disapproved of my marriage)

if not, you can go to your privacy settings and make him unable to see your wall updates.

WebGirl said...

Anonymous, thanks for your incisiveness and sensitivity.

AE, I can keep him as a friend and keep him from seeing my wall? Trying to figure out how to do that.

Abandoning Eden said...

go to settings->privacy->profile privacy. Then under "wall posts" choose "customize" and you can type in his name under "except these people" and he won't be able to see your wall posts anymore.

Honestly Frum said...

I unfriended someone (who I am not really friends with any way, not sure how it happened to begin with) because I could not take his crazy left wing liberal diatribes every 3 minutes, literally every few minutes there would be some other we love Obama liberals are great Glenn Beck is Satan bring on Obamacare post and I was going out of my mind. I pulled the trigger the night of the House vote when he was on overdrive I just could not take it anymore.

I am all for differences of opinion and free thought but this guy was just over the top and I saw no reasons to be "friends" with someone I was not friends with.