Politics aside, we never got along fine

(Apologies to Everything But the Girl for the post’s title.)

Lately, I’ve found myself with a quick temper and a shorter fuse.

Politics isn’t helping. The downside of being informed about what your state senators and representatives are doing, for example, is that you’re informed whenever they do something you disagree with. Today I learned that one of our state representatives was one of four Democrats who supported an act that the GOP plans to use in its attempt to repeal recently enacted federal regulations (including one that ensures that states can’t block Title IX funding for family planning programs at Planned Parenthood … which hasn’t even been enacted yet). I don’t live in Kirsten Sinema’s district, but her vote still infuriates me: She knew what she was voting for and its purpose, so I can’t imagine any positives that she might believe would outweigh such negatives. I’m finding her more vile with every Blue Dog vote she casts.

Recently, one of my Facebook acquaintances posted that President Obama was being a “petty little man” because had he ordered Russian diplomats to leave the country in the wake of the U.S. election hacking scandal … on the same day that the president-elect decided that this was an appropriate New Year’s message:

I was going to point out the bitter irony of her post — sure, Obama is the petty one 🙄 — but I knew that my input wouldn’t change her opinion, which has been rigorously anti-Obama for years. I stewed about this for hours, off and on; as soon as I thought I was over it, another possible retort would jump into my head and I’d start seething again.

Eventually I asked myself: Why am I inviting such rancor and discord into my life? This isn’t a case of “oh, we have different tastes in music, but we’re still friends.” Our core political beliefs are so diametrically opposed that I don’t respect her opinion. (The best I would be able to eke out would be that I respect her right to have an opinion … even if that opinion is shortsightedly wrong.) If someone had said to me in person some of the stuff she posts online, I would’ve shut down the relationship long ago. So I did that, virtually.

I unfriended her. I didn’t take the “unfollow” route because, why bother? I’m not setting myself up to revisit her page after a hiatus — “I wonder what she’s up to nowadays?” — only to be peeved by some other inevitably disagreeable post. We weren’t that connected in the first place; we had a few years of shared childhood, decades ago, and that’s it; at no point in recent history did my life feel enriched by her presence. I Marie Kondo‘d her away.

(Next up: The steps I’ve taken to reduce my time online, and why.)


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