When you can’t say hello to your high school friend after a couple decades without a disclaimer: “Even though we would not agree on politics or religion, I have decided to acknowledge your greeting”–you reveal a lot.
Word of advice, when you can’t even say hi to an old friend without establishing your tribal identity, you have joined a cult. You’ve given yourself over, body and soul, to a controlling party.
You’ve bought into identity politics and applied it to yourself. Peer acceptance is essential, and the virtue signal to the self is as necessary as air. In every social interaction, your identity must be validated.
I’ve been lectured to by a close relative, who actually knows me apart from any cultural caricature, who applied abusive accusations based on a cultural caricature which she supposed fit me. I wasn’t even the offender in this situation but I was close at hand.
I’ve been unfriended, post-hidden, and even once blocked (I was relieved about that one; the blocker was actually getting scary). All of this long after I announced that I would no longer make political comments. I no longer do; I decided that social media is for socializing with new and old friends. Sharing news and pleasantries, songs we like, amusing anecdotes from our lives, and re-connecting with long-lost friends.
But re-connecting can be deflating at times. Warm and funny friends in high school reveal themselves to be cold and distant. Greetings after 30 years need disclaimers. It’s not enough to be politics-free. I am not sufficiently deferential to the essential political consensus. I’m not in the tribe, and so social interaction will be impossible.
All this is very sad. We’ve turned over social reality to social media virtual-reality, and we mistake the one for the other.