Obviously, my world includes people who have very different views to those I hold. The world would be an incredibly boring place if I surrounded myself only with those who think like I do.
But sometimes you realize that someone you have known for a long time and respected actually holds views you find disturbing. Maybe they ranted on Facebook or wrote a letter to the editor. Whatever happened, you now see a whole other side of them, and frankly, it’s one you cannot support.
Depending on the nature of the views espoused, you may decide to ignore it. Maybe you decide to unfollow them or unfriend them so you won’t see their thoughts on your timeline.
This happened to me recently. A longtime associate shared her thoughts on a matter and that’s when I realized she not only held these views but was standing up very publicly as part of an organisation that worries me. I unfollowed her because I really didn’t want that negativity on my timeline.
But, then I ran into her in real life, off of a screen where an unfollow click was so simple. Now I’m faced with this person who I’ve known for nearly 30 years. The context had nothing to do with her previously mentioned views. I hesitated but then I greeted her as I always had done. Asked how she was doing and what she was up to now before we parted ways.
Afterwards, I wondered, should I have said something? Was it worth making a big deal of something that wouldn’t have come up anyway? Part of me felt a little hypocritical because my opinion of her had changed quite dramatically. Should I have ignored her? What do you do when life reminds you that clicks aren’t real life?