This world. This place. This life.

Two Paths Diverged


Once upon a time, when we walked the woods with friends and took divergent paths, we just lost track of those friends.

But now there’s Facebook, and it’s as if all the trees between us have suddenly disappeared, revealing the choices our friends have made.

Last night I received a Facebook message from a friend from college.  I clicked on his profile, wanting to be sure that this was the friend I remembered.  And it was.  But it wasn’t.

In the time since we last knew each other, my friend has moved from one side of the political spectrum to the far end of the other.  If my profile were less private, he would have discovered the same thing about me.  In college, he was slightly left of center, and I was more than slightly right of center.  We must have passed each other in the middle, sometime in the last fifteen years, because now he’s a fan of Michelle Bachmann, and I’m a fan of Rachel Maddow.


4 thoughts on “Two Paths Diverged

  1. I’ve found a lot of old friends on Facebook who have changed completely, but then so have I.

    • I’ve been playing around with trying to make a graphic representation of the paths of my friends. And trying to remember that it’s not any weirder for a gay guy (my friend) to become an anti-gay activist than it is for a Presbyterian minister (me) to become a non-theistic Unitarian Universalist. 🙂

  2. I think I am that friend to some. My high school friends knew me as a evangelical Christian conservative Republican Reaganite and they re-connect with this flaming liberal agnostic. Some of them have been quite surprised and some disappointed. I try to stay out of political FB conversations, but I only succeed most of the time.

    • This experience has helped me understand how disturbing my life path must be for some of the people who knew me as a conservative Christian child and teenager.

      I engage in careful religious and political conversation on FB with friends whose positions and beliefs differ from mine; I see it as an opportunity to practice important community-building skills.

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