I don't care.
I don't care if you don't like what I post on social media. I don't care if you unfriend me, or unfollow me or block me or any other method there is of telling me you don't like me or my content. I don't care if you don't like the format of my radio show, or what I'm writing on my blog. And, for that matter, I don't care if you like or don't like anything about me.
It just doesn't matter to me.
Right about now, I assume many of you read the previous paragraphs and thought I was being defiant, snarky, arrogant, condescending, aloof ... or maybe a combination of all those things. Lord knows, I have a well-deserved reputation.
But I assure you, I mean those three words as innocently and literally as they can possible be used. There is not an underlying message or agenda. This is not a rant, a vent, an up-yours or a middle finger.
I simply do not care. Nor should you.
My non-rant today was spurred by a handful of listeners and/or social media followers who felt it necessary to tell me not to do something on my show or online because they didn't like it. Not because they thought it offensive or vulgar or inaccurate or stupid. Just because they didn't like it. It didn't appeal to them.
Example: I posted a link to photographs of KFGO's "Show Us Your Rack" contest on my Facebook page. The contest is meant to allow deer hunters a chance to show off their trophy bucks (or any deer they've shot, for that matter) and have a chance at winning a nice prize. A Facebook "friend" (who in reality I'm not sure I've ever met and is not an actual friend) quickly posted a comment saying something along the lines of, "Please stop posting pictures of dead animals. I find them offensive and don't like them."
I posted a follow-up comment saying, "Unfriend me."
A caller to my show last week angrily and vulgarly suggested I stop talking so much about Bison football during the 2-5 p.m. stretch.
I said on-air, "If you don't like it, then don't listen."
Another Facebook "friend" Wednesday griped about me posting links to this blog twice a day -- although he used the figure 9,000 (just a little off) -- and asked me to "do us all a favor" and post things only once.
My response, again: "Unfriend me."
I am not being a smart-aleck in any of these cases. I am giving legitimate advice. Just unfriend me and we can go our merry separate ways. No hard feelings.
Here's the deal:
Listening to my radio show, or being my Facebook friend or following me on Twitter, or reading my blog are all voluntary activities. The same way eating at a restaurant, or buying a hammer at a hardware store or attending a certain church are voluntary activities. And, this is the beautiful thing about free choice, if you don't like the food at the restaurant or the service at the hardware store or the pastor at the church ... you can stop going to those places. You don't need to inform the restaurant, the hardware store or the church. You just do it.
The danger for the restaurant and hardware store, of course, is if enough people stop going they will have to close. It is capitalism. For the church, it will not have enough parishoners to stay viable.
But, if the business or church continue to appeal to enough people ... they will remain successful. And neither the business nor the unhappy patrons will be any the wiser.
So when I say "Unfriend me. I don't care," I am not being flippant. I am being honest.
I have unfriended many people on Facebook because I tired of the inspirational, motivational, political or idiotic nature of their posts. I didn't feel the need to ask them to change their posts, nor did I feel the need to tell them I was going to unfriend them. I just did it. It is their Facebook feed, they can do what they want with it, and it isn't up to me to tell them how to run it. If I didn't like it, I just eliminated it from my life.
So, to summarize for all those who don't like my Facebook, Twitter, blog or radio show 100 percent of the time and feel the need to tell me how I can change so they can be pleased 100 percent of the time, I give you this piece of advice:
Unfriend me, unfollow me, don't read me, or shut me off.
I won't be offended. In fact, I won't even know.
And I certainly won't care.
(Mike McFeely is a talk-show host on KFGO-AM in Fargo, N.D. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcFeelyKFGO.)