I remember my first unfriending-by-way-of-politics.
I was 25; I’d made it all the way to my second year of law school without alienating a single person in the digital space—give me a medal. I had posted something negative about nuclear proliferation in Iran, drawing the ire of one of my best friends who also happened to be 100% Persian. Over the course of three or four heated comments, it was friendship over, both online and in the real world.
7 years of friendship, down the drain in an off-cycle. It deserved better.
I like to think I’ve grown out of the kinds of superficial political arguments that end relationships, but there’s something about an election cycle that brings out the worst in all of us. Semi-anonymity is a truth serum, and sites like Facebook and Twitter are handing it out for free.
Does our addiction to social media mean that our relationships will forever wallow in an extra layer of tension? Probably; and now there’s a new app called Who Deleted Me that will show you just how big of an impact your online posts are having on your friends, family and colleagues.
Buzzfeed spotted it:
Aptly named Who Deleted Me, the program is available as an app for iOS and Android or as a browser extension for Google Chrome.
Just like the Twitter app Who Unfollowed Me, the program tells you whether a friend has unfollowed you or just deactivated their account.
The apps launched a few weeks ago, but the extension has been around in some form since 2009.
Who Deleted Me only starts tallying your friend totals once you’ve downloaded it, so you can’t get a read on past friendships lost — only the platonic breakups that happened after signing up.
And as an extra stalking bonus, you can also see the last time your friends logged on to the social network.
Behold, our collective downfall:
I can’t say that I’ll ever touch this app; I’m confident in my ability to control myself online. I’m also confident that I hold certain viewpoints about certain candidates on both sides of the aisle that will earn me more than one passive aggressive unfriending on one or more social media platforms.
It is what it is; you’ll have to decide for yourself whether or not knowing who does and does not accept your worldview is worth the stress or monitoring your friend count.
Our digital space is flooded with politics; the internet is a valuable medium for candidates looking to distinguish themselves, so don’t expect to see the parade of elephants and donkeys march off into the sunset anytime soon. It’s still fairly early in the 2016 cycle, and already I’m seeing not just politicians but activists and flacks looking to make a name for their cause by getting as bombastic and heated as possible.
Productive? Depends on what your goal is. But seeing as how we have to live in this online world that we’ve created, and not just work in it, we may want to give the idea of apps like this a second look before we launch those charged comments into the atmosphere and wait with baited breath for that first outraged reply.DONATE
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