Ryan Shea's picture

Opinion: Gay Men Need to Stop Making 'Friend Cleansing' Posts

Not sure if this is an opinion piece, but maybe more of a rant. 

I will never, ever, understand for the life of me why gay men feel the need to make a post that revolves around doing a "friend cleansing" of sorts.  I consider myself to be someone who is friends with all types of people, and I swear I have never seen women, trans individuals or straight men do this sort of thing on any form of social media.  It is juvenile to the point where its become the cyber version of telling someone they aren't allowed at your lunch table anymore, and quite frankly... I've had it, officially (cue Detox voice).

I've seen a variety of them, some of which say "time to do a spring cleaning on my friend list," which leaves things a bit more ambiguous, but others add gems like "hope you make the cut".  What. The. Fuck.  This really grinds my gears in ways that makes me wonder if any of these men actually realize what they are doing when posting something that narcissistic and egotistical. 

I was raised to be nice to everyone around me, something that a lot of gay men forget to actually do on a near daily basis.  What happens if the person you are friends with on social media looks up to you in a way?  Maybe you've done something that's inspired them or they just enjoy your daily posts about life, humor, opinions, etc.  I can understand if you want to remove someone for personal reasons, or because you haven't talked to them in years, but there is this thing where you can actually chat with them one on one about it as opposed to making it a parade on your own Facebook page.

Or, you have the option to "unfollow" them, something that I've done and I'm sure has been done to me as I'm not exactly a wallflower when it comes to my opinions (see above).  Making a post like this, in the short and long run, not only makes you an attention whore but it also gives you a whole Kelly Bensimon "This is you, this is me" type of thing (here's your reference).  In other words, you think you are better than the person that YOU, yes YOU, chose to be friends with in the first place.

This is, unfortunately what our society has become as social media has taken over our lives to an extent and the whole mentality of being "brave behind a keyboard" has become the norm.  It would take some serious balls, regardless of your age, to actually go up to a person and say that you don't want to be friends with them anymore.  You would have to actually look at them in the face and say it, heck even saying it on the phone has its consequences as you have to deal with the person somehow in the aftermath.  Social media allows you to remove said person with one click of a button (and another one, if you are block friendly) and that's that, without the worriment of what you are doing to the person you are unfriending.

Sure, this may seem like I'm being "the most" about this situation, but when you are surrounded by this sort of thing on social media constantly, it makes you truly question why the gay community even celebrates pride throughout the year when we constantly trash each other and exhibit high school type behavior with these posts.

How about this?  If you have nothing nice to say, don't say it at all.  If you aren't talking to someone in a while, strike up a convo!  It may just make your day or theirs.  Not to get all Mister Rogers on your asses, but its these little things that ultimately can make us a community all over again. 

This was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject. 

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Y you mad bro? Please keep in mind that these cleanings are also meant to filter out toxic people. "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it so all?" You of all people saying this is a joke. Didn't you post about how you were happy that people you school with were looking like dumpster fires now? You are the reason there are friend purges. Quit living in this world where your writing is the best thing ever. If this garbage can get posted and you get "praise", the world really is coming to an end. You are hot toxic garbage. 

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Ezra, HEAR HEAR!

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you're joking right? You cant possibly be friends with that many people that losing a few here and there will bother you enough to rant. 

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Its trying to turn Facebook ino some velvet rope. People like  that don't realize that the rest of us aren't nervously hoping we "make the cut," we're busy wondering why we friended these people in the first place.

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I see plenty of women do this all the time. In fact, women are the only ones I've seen make these posts. 

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This is a non-issue. Mundane, petty friends list squabbles have existed in every demographic since the invention of friends lists. This is not some existential threat to queer solidarity. We have homophobes, transphobes and racists in the White House. The First Amendment Defense Act just got reintroduced to Congress at the beginning of the month. Maybe let's try focusing on the bigger issues here. I would suggest that the writer refrain from extrapolating drama from his social cricle into the community at large.

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