I have recently "defriended" two people that I have known for almost 10 years from Facebook. This act has shaken me and I still feel saddened by it almost a week later.
It wan't just one thing that caused this break, it has been in the works for a while. One of these people is responsible for the "Letter to a Friend" post of a month ago. And the other is his wife. There had been growing stress as the ideological differences between us became more and more pronounced. But the final straw was when I wished people "Happy Bastille Day" and was attacked for celebrating a bloody governmental overthrow. When I can't even wish people a happy national celebration, well, things have gone too far. I am not going to ever change France and its holidays, so why should I even try.
It is not that these people have different political philosophies than I do. I have very good friends that are dyed in the wool Republicans and a friend from college who is the personal assistant to a Republican Presidential Candidate. (The one whose third wife happens to like expensive jewelry.) And we manage to be respectful of each other's opinions and stay on friendly terms with each other. We do not fire pot-shots over the bow.
I think it has become acceptable to be rude in society. I don't like it. People only seem to be worried about themselves. "As long as I am having a good time, to Hell with you all!" This takes the form of profanity screamed into a phone in public. Firecrackers lit in public places. Road Rage. Congresspeople yelling at the President. I might even go so far as the whole "Sagging" thing. (I really don't want to see your underwear-covered butt at the mall. And it makes you look deformed.)
Whatever happened to manners? What ever happened to the concept of being polite? It really does help to keep society civil. When a comment such as "Happy Holidays!" is met with anger or snarkiness, there is definitely a problem with people. When an act of kindness is met with scorn, I see a society in decline.