August 6, 2012

I Got Defriended over a Dead Elephant.

Guilty as charged: I posted a photo of a dead elephant on my facebook page.

(Not the one above.)

I love elephants and all other creatures, large and small. Alive or dead, I suppose. And I have this need to protect them as if they’re my children. If humans don’t protect them, who will?

So I put up a post about African elephants being killed in an awful, inhumane fashion just for ivory then left to die. Trunks shorn off. It’s disturbing. Quite.

With that photo was a petition from SOS Elephants that I hoped people would sign to stop this killing.

Sure, I could have put up a cute photo of an elephant for the awww factor. Like this one.

It would’ve made sense, since many baby elephants are orphaned when their parent(s) are massacred.


{Warning: disturbing image ahead.}

Instead, I chose the disturbing photo of a once beautiful now dead elephant lying in a pool of blood, trunk just… gone.

Photo: SOS elephants

And thus began the end of my friendship with a guy, Mark, on facebook. Here’s what he said:

I don’t appreciate you putting a dead elephant in my timeline. I am de-friending you. I will also de-friend “friends” who put pictures of dead animals, dieing animals or animals being tortured in my timeline.

To which I replied:

Sorry you feel that way, Mark. It is a very disturbing photo.

And Mark said:

That’s my point. Stop retraumatizing people with your disturbing images.
Well, just in time, another guy friend, Michael, posted this:
I actually think Mark has the right idea. Hear no evil, see no evil. That way all of us Americans can just continue to live our blissfully arrogant lives #wtf Lynn, thank you for letting me know about this issue. Unfortunately, most of us, including me, have such radically reduced attention spans, I may not have even read it completely if it weren’t for the picture. I shared it on four social media accounts. Thanks for all the work you do!
And, of course, I had to say…
Thanks, Michael! ♥
And apparently, Mark the Defriender wasn’t quite done with me yet, because he wrote:

Yes let’s all all complete our collections of violence porn.

To which Michael replied so eloquently:

Mark, so you’re jerking off to this, or you think I am? I think I’ll bow out of this argument now.

And with that, Mark was gone.

Whoever the heck he was. I didn’t know know him.

He’s not the first or the last person to defriend me, but he was my very first public facebook defriendship.

I’ve had family defriend me. Two different family members, in fact. I guess I posted too much or things they didn’t like—or both. And you know what? That honestly hurt. Maybe it’s not so much the fact they defriended me but the way they did it. Without even telling me they were going to. I just figured it out one day. When I asked one person, they said I posted too much stuff from elephant journal. Their loss. The other one, who I was once close to, never really gave me a straightforward answer and has since fallen off the face of the earth in real life, too. That really bums me out. But I am who I am. It happened. Nothin’ I can do about it.

Have I ever felt like defriending anyone?

Yes! In fact, a friend from high school whose views are off-the-charts opposing to mine on just about everything you could imagine. She’s a devout Christian, I’m Spiritual but Not Religious. (She told me once years ago I’d be going to hell unless I was a Christian like her, in the same exact religion.) She despises Obama. She said so on her facebook page. I would jump the man’s bones if I could (and my husband knows it). He may not be the perfect leader, but he’s better than the last one and a better choice over Mitt. She thinks man-made climate change is a myth. I don’t.

We had an argument about Obamacare today on her facebook page today. She thinks it’s all bad, I gave her the link to “A Bunch of Random Facts You May Not Know About Obamacare” but was also diplomatic (in my humble opinion) in pointing out there are, no doubt, pros and cons to the Affordable Healthcare Act. I also said if I knew all the answers about how to reform healthcare, I would be considered genius material. She continued to act like the expert. I finally reminded her that she didn’t believe me back in high school when I tried to convince her that a raisin is a dried grape. Needless to say, I departed the conversation after giving it one or two iotas too many of my precious energy. She thinks she’s 100 percent right and I think we’re both probably right. There’s some gray area. Some good and some bad.

I’ll defriend people if it really becomes necessary—like the time someone posted obscene naked photos right on my facebook page.

I didn’t know know that person.

But, unless I defriend someone in real life (somewhat rare), I won’t defriend friends of the present or past or family, even if they have opposing views, post too much or just post dumb stuff. Opposing views are invaluable. Without them, aren’t we just living in our safe boxes listening to people who think just like us? And what if we’re wrong?

Note: For those of you who think I post too much on facebook, you can just hide my posts from your timeline.

I certainly questioned my choice of the elephant photo after being chastised by Mark, but others thought it was fine so I left it alone. Brianna (fellow elephant editor and columnist extraordinaire) said something to the effect that we gotta put the truth out there and sometimes it’s just not gonna be pleasant. In fact, she suggested I write about being defriended because of a dead elephant photo (thanks, Bri!).

Hopefully you won’t defriend me over it or other stuff you may not like. And if you do, I’ll try not to take it personally.

Have you ever been defriended? What was that like? What are some reasons you would defriend someone? Please share your story!

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