Tag Archive: Unfriend

“She kind of likes my sense of humor. Anybody who likes my sense of humor, I immediately like.” — Former President George W. Bush.

“Bush’s friendship with Obama, a confident, smart and elegant woman whose integrity is impeccable, gives him credence. Around her, he is humble, playful and comfortable. She allows him to be the lighthearted person he is, without judgment.” —   Chicago Tribune columnist Dahleen Glanton

Almost DailyBrett has heard all of the rhetoric about championing diversity and accepting other points of view.

Sounds good … until it’s time for most people to practice what they preach.

Turn on any of your devices – from first screen digital television to second screen social media – and it won’t be long until the talking heads start name calling, literally screaming at each other.

Your author has written blogs – many which have not been read — and yet the respondents troll each other on Facebook about a headline and/or a photo.

Long-time friendships and relationships quickly come to an end. Many are blocked; others are outright unfriended. People who hold different points of view are inwardly or outwardly regarded as Unmensch.

Forget about passing candy (or throat lozenges) to any of them.

Some will claim all of this vitriol began in 2016. Almost DailyBrett begs to differ, pegging the beginning of the end of civility to the 1998 Clintonian impeachment process. Instead of attacks against Robert Mueller, the arrows and barbs were directed against Kenneth Starr.

And now some are talking about impeaching yet another president (i.e., Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton before) only with the Senate most likely failing to muster the two-third-votes required to convict.

What’s the point?

Instead, shouldn’t we all reflect upon the public examples exemplified by two prominent individuals – hailing from opposite parties — who not only continue to talk the talk, but walk the walk?

Wasn’t it Michelle Obama who said: “When they go low, we go high”?

And wasn’t George W. Bush one of the most consequential, and as a result one of most reviled presidents in history?

And yet starting with the peaceful transfer of power in fall 2008 through the present day, Michelle Obama and George W. Bush have demonstrated to the world how we should treat each other, regardless of competing philosophies.

Maybe we should be doing less competing, and more understanding of other points of view.

Back to Jefferson/Back to Lincoln

The world’s most successful Democracy features two competing political parties with proud histories.

The Democrats hail from the days of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. Besides the aforementioned, the party has provided America with great presidents including James K. Polk, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy.

The Republicans were born as an abolitionist party and fielded giants including Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan.

Almost DailyBrett has made this suggestion before and will make it again: Try reading two straight-forward books featuring a prominent Democrat and Republican.

For your author most recently, it was David Axelrod’s Believer and Karl Rove’s Courage and Consequence. These two gents served as presidential campaign managers, electing and then re-electing Barack Obama and George W. Bush respectively to the White House.

Both lost parents to suicide. Both tell harrowing tales of state politics, Illinois and Texas. Both share candid insider looks into the strengths and all-too-human weaknesses of their bosses. Both provide solid commentary today on CNN and Fox News.


Some may want to simply dismiss the Michelle Obama/George W. Bush relationship to protocol.

Time and time again, Michelle and Dubya sit next to each because protocol dictates that the spouse of #44 (Barack Obama) sits next to #43 (George W. Bush), who in turn is paired with Laura Bush.

The ever-present cameras caught Laura asking her hubby to pass a throat lozenge to Michelle during the Memorial Service for the late Senator John McCain. The mistaken candy-for-lozenge exchange/return smile instantly received a Twitter hashtag: #Candygate.

What should be the national normal (e.g., civility) has become the extraordinary (e.g., genuine Michelle/Dubya friendship) in today’s divisive, polarized society.

Does the national reaction to this unlikely friendship between a former First Lady and a former POTUS say more about them, or does it point to our own widespread lack of respect and decency for any view that conflicts with our own?





Almost DailyBrett offered commentary two years ago against the unwanted and unproductive practice of unloading unrestrained political diatribes upon friends and family via Facebook or some other digital venue.

What were the results of your author’s admonition?

Nothing, absolutely nothing … if anything the practice is worse, much worse.

The digital fusillades with attachments, JPEGs, emojis, Bitmojis and animated GIFs, aimed at friends and family, are actually increasing with intensity with each passing Trump-era outrage.

What happens when you as the target recipient grow weary of those, who eschew any restraint and let the politics rip … on a daily basis or even multiple times a day?

Worse, what is your reaction when your so-called friend drops political content on your Facebook wall and challenges you to a philosophical duel with no end, until you relent … and allow him or her to triumphantly have the last word?

Almost DailyBrett must ask: With “Friends” like these, who needs enemies?

Whatever Happened to Friends and Family?

Maybe your author is a tad naïve.

Always thought of Facebook as a digital venue to post short stories and JPEGs about a wonderful spouse, visits with friends and families, sharing photos and experiences about lands nine time zones away or closer and yes … cute animal photos.

Almost DailyBrett has found the greatest number of “likes,” “loves,” and “howls of laughter” emanate from family/friend/life/joy stories and photos. Even when your author succumbs to the temptation to offer commentary on anything even remotely political, the amount of traffic on the Facebook post goes through the floor.

There’s a lesson here.

And when it comes to outrage — there are so many-over-the top, out-of-control invectives out there — why do I have to add my two shekels and descend into the rhetorical muck and primordial ooze?

Even though the following pie chart, which is a tad outdated, unscientific and used by Almost DailyBrett  before, is there any doubt that political bombs aimed at family and friends changes no one’s opinion and results in everyone’s blood pressure going through the roof?

What should one do with a “friend” who violates this cardinal rule … way too many times to count?

Do you really want to maintain your “friendship” with someone, who doesn’t give a rat’s derriere about how you feel? The answer may be too simply “unfriend” your “friend.”

And if you do not want to end the “friendship,” but are done with their incessant and undisciplined litany of political bloviations and pontifications, what course of action can you pursue?

The Simple Beauty of the “Unfollow”

There are more than a few who are paranoid enough to call you out, if you made the decision to “unfriend.” They will demand that you “re-friend” (assuming that is an actual word). Your author once actually did exactly that, until it was soon time … actually past-time … to unfriend for the final time.

In most cases if you “unfriend,” the former friend will remain clueless barely coming up for air in-between digital-political blitzkrieg campaigns.

And then … and then there is a magical button located right at the top of your “friend’s” Facebook wall … with a drop down … follow or unfollow.

Go ahead … Yes, go ahead to your “friend’s” Facebook page. He or she has been annoying you and driving up your tension level way too long … Find this wonderful button and click, “unfollow.”

Something magical just happened. Your Facebook feed is liberated at least for a few nanoseconds or maybe longer.

Think of Charles de Gaulle walking beneath the Arc de Triomphe in 1944. That annoying supposed “friend” is still a friend, you just won’t see their daily/hourly rants. As Martha would say, “That’s a good thing.”

Best of all, there is no fear of your Facebook wall ever being commandeered by someone who just wants to pick a political fight and ultimately have the last word.




 “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” – Niccolo’ Machiavelli, “The Prince.”

The choice of topic for one of my classmate’s Qualitative Research paper startled me.

She was writing about the growing “unfriending” trend among the more than 500 million Facebook subscribers. For example, if someone unfriended me, I would  have 161 friends instead of  my modest list of 162 friends.

Do you really think someone would want to unfriend little ole me? Alas, it is true…and sorry to say, maybe for you too. unfriend

Guess that doesn’t sound like a big deal worth losing sleep over. Considering that it is human nature to burn up more brain cells on negative than positive vibrations, then you have to conclude that people actually put more time and thought into an unfriending action than a friending decision. The fact that what is normally a noun, “Friend,” or an adverb, “friendly” has become a verb, to “friend” or now to “unfriend,” is a subject for another blog post at another time.

In a way all of this makes sense as companies for the longest time spent more time firing someone than they actually did hiring the person in the first place. They are starting to get smarter in this regard because it costs upwards to $60,000 in recruiting and training costs to replace someone and even more when you take into account lost productivity and the impact on the morale other employees in terms of picking up the slack.

Is “unfriending” a direct outgrowth of our almost automatic decisions to respond positively to a “friend” request?

Do we really not want to insult someone by merely ignoring their friend request, even though that is perfectly appropriate for someone we don’t know or don’t want to know?

And if you accept, do you want them to know what you normally reserve for people who are generally your friends? Will this prompt you to be a little more careful about what you post or do you fire away anyway?

Keep in mind that digital is eternal. Yes there are privacy settings on Facebook, but corporate and governmental “firewalls” are hacked into almost every day. Your precious photos intended for friends only of you in a drunken or stoned stupor or exhibiting normally private parts of your anatomy may someday find its way into the wrong hands, much to your permanent embarrassment.

One has to contemplate how many millions of dollars in endorsements that Michael Phelps’ digital bong pipe photo cost the Olympic swimmer even though he has 16 medals in a personal display case?

In theory, if we are smarter about friending then we should not have to do as much unfriending. Right? But doesn’t it just make sense to periodically purge your friends list? Is someone who is an acquaintance today really going to be a friend tomorrow? And if you want to take this step, Facebook is making it so easy to do, even wirelessly from your cell phone or PDA. unfriend1

And if you are a tad paranoid, and just have to find out who had the audacity to actually “unfriend” you, well there is software that works on at least four browsers to tell you who is the culprit.

And if you are personally unfriended, is this a personal insult? Should you call them out for taking this step?

If a member of the opposite gender (or your own gender, if you are so inclined) in which you were having a romantic involvement, says, “Let’s just be friends (kiss of death),” does that mean you should continue to “friend” them on Facebook? Or is it time to “unfriend” them?

And what if he or she follow their suggestion of “just being friends” by “unfriending” you on Facebook? Is this consistent or inconsistent with their wishes?

Considering that I am not an expert on affairs of the heart or a psychologist, I guess I will have fall back on the famous Barack Obama quote:

(This question is) “Above my pay grade.”






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