For all intense and purposes your Facebook page looks generic compared to some people on your Friend List. You tend to post happy family photographs, funny cat pictures, and the occasional status that is non-controversial and probably related to something you ate. For good measure you may post something uplifting and spiritual every now and then because you’re a nice person after all. Or you at least want people to think that.
Then people begin to unfriend you on Facebook without provocation. They even may become distant when they see you in person. Worse yet, you realize you have been BLOCKED by people you considered friends. Your favorite cousin is no longer in your Newsfeed and your invitation to your neighbors annual BBQ got lost somewhere in cyber space. You are bewildered as to why because you are not controversial in the least. Well, wonder no more because I am going to share with you five ways you have exposed to everyone that you are a closeted asshole.
- The Comments On Public Pages Your social media looks like an explosion of happiness and positive energy. You’ve worked hard at keeping things as bland as possible with pictures of cute kids and animals. Everything you post is through a filter of not offending anyone. But then you go to your local News Media page on Facebook and decide to add your 2 cents to the comment section on what you feel is a cut and dry issue. Surely everyone knows that boys should not use the girls restroom at school and gender identity is a lie of the devil. You decided to post that you do not want men in the restroom with your daughter even though that “man” has double D breasts and looks better in a dress than you do. You then go to list a host of nonfactual reasons and religious bias to back up your feelings on the subject but what you don’t realize is that your comment is now being seen by all your friends in their Newsfeed. Whether is is about politics, police brutality, or a businesses refusing to serve someone based on their sexual orientation everyone now knows you are not only intolerant of others but that it is rooted in alternative facts and that you use Jesus to hide behind it.
- Liked Pages I continue to be surprised that people do not realize that the entire social media world can see the pages you “like”. You probably do not mind that people can see that your favorite college football team is Alabama or that you “liked” a page of a sick person in your church that needs help. What you may not realize is that they also see that you read alt-right news media and fan over Milo Yiannopolous. Your friends can see that you have liked pages that have neo-nazi roots, degrade women, the disabled, and people of other faiths. What you thought was hidden and would never mention around your friends of color or while you are working with LGBTQ individuals they can now see as plain as the hand in front of them.
- Comments On Your Friends’ Pages That are Public Or Friends of Friends Not all posts on Facebook have the same privacy settings. You may have your posts set to friends only or a select group of people but others may have theirs geared toward a public audience. If the post isn’t set to be open for the world to see it may be set so that friends of friends can see and read their posts. You may not have realized this when you decided to comment on your Uncle’s post about how Trayvon Martin deserved to be shot and that you agreed to be seen by the black couple that sits on the same pew as you at church. That discussion you got into about the ills of gay marriage on your girlfriend’s post you may not have wanted your gay cousin to read or the gay hairdresser that does your hair on a regular basis. Your comments calling political opponents names and making fun of them you may not have intended for your best friend to see that is different than you.
- “Liking” Posts On Your Friends Pages You think this is benign behavior. You don’t understand that it could be revealing the heart of who you are. You may not engage in controversial discussion and are careful about publicly liking any page that is not your favorite eatery or a movie you recently saw. You feel like you have this privacy thing on Facebook managed pretty well. Smart phone in hand scrolling through your feed you find this meme funny that references a lynching of Obama so you press the thumbs up button. You and the person who posted it are like minded individuals who “get each other” but you had no idea that your friend who is married to a black man and has biracial children saw what you did. The thing is when you like offensive memes on Facebook or those that demean others based on sexuality, race or religion they are micro-aggressions.
- Groups You may not realize that the Group you just joined is visible to the public. You may believe your membership is hidden or that posts inside the group cannot be seen. Many groups these days are “Closed” but this only means that those outside the group cannot see what is posted inside. Membership is still visible to the public and your friends may be able to see what groups you are in – Public and Closed and even advertised to them in a way to garner more membership. Whether it be the local Swingers Club, the Neighborhood Watch, or the Alt-Right Homeschool Group you just joined, unless it is set to “Secret” your friends can see what groups you belong too.
So the next time you wonder why someone you were friends with, either in real life or on Facebook, unfriended you it is doubtful that it was about your political beliefs and more about showing your true character if you are guilty of any of the above.