Forcing friendship in a divided age
You can infer what people think more from what they don’t do rather than what they do.
Look for what’s not there instead of what is, and everything will become clear.
Some people I know cut me out of their lives, slowly and quietly. A lot of people unfollowed me over the last few years. (Or maybe I was shadowbanned, but that’s another story.)
And that’s fine.
Some of the things I like and read aren’t of interest to them, or are counter to their value system.
That’s OK. I’ve unfollowed plenty of people myself.
I am (or was) very friendly with some of those people. I didn’t read them every day but I checked in on their pages every now and then to see what they were up to. Like or comment on some things. I still cared, despite our differences. Sometimes they’d write back. Sometimes they wouldn’t.
But one thing never happened. Nobody returned the favor. Nobody looked at what I was doing. I was ignored. Shunned. I was too toxic to even look at, let alone interact with.
One guy in particular will gladly respond to me, but it has been years since he made the first move.
He has to go. And so do the others. They all have to go.
I will not force it anymore. I don’t want friendship to be an obligation.
I don’t want to constantly poke people to get them to talk to me.
That’s not what I want out of friendship.
You either want me in your life…or you don’t.
In these times, one must be ruthless when “social pruning.”
If there was no social media, we would return to the natural order of things — remembering people you lost touch with fondly, thinking only of the good times you had together, as your paths diverged.
Now those memories are forever tainted.
And so I write this, to cleanse myself of the negative thoughts, so that I may move forward.