Ask Scary Mommy: Wackadoo Conspiracy Theories Are Wrecking My Closest Friendship

by Christine Organ
Originally Published: 
My Good Friend Is Sharing Conspiracy Theories – What Should I Do?
Constantine Johnny/Getty

Ask Scary Mommy is Scary Mommy’s advice column, where our team of “experts” answers all the questions you have about life, love, body image, friends, parenting, and anything else that’s confusing you.

This week — are you struggling with a friend or family member who is driving you bonkers with their conspiracy theories about COVID-19, weird satanic cults, and chemtrails? Are you pondering throwing your computer out the window when you see their name pops up? You aren’t alone.

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Dear Scary Mommy,

I have a close friend who I’ve known for more than 20 years. We’ve survived the awkward teen years, cross-country moves, and the lack of communication that comes with new motherhood. But lately she’s been sharing wild conspiracy theories about COVID-19, presidential candidates, and vaccines. It started with funny celebrity gossip, but each post gets weirder and weirder. She’s started sending really scary emails about pro-Trump militias and “taking back our country.” I have no idea who this person is anymore, and every time I see her name pop up, I have a rage-fueled panic attack. What do I do?

First things first: take a deep breath. Do not throw your computer out the window. I understand the temptation, but all that will get you is a hefty credit card bill when you need to buy yourself a new laptop.

Assuming your friend hasn’t joined a cult or been abducted by aliens who are now controlling her thought processes and social media accounts, it’s probably wise to reconsider the nature of your relationship.

Life is short. We’ve only got so many fucks to give, and QAnon conspiracy theory bullshit cannot be one of them. The actual reality of Covid and the current administration is awful enough as it is; procrastinating and doomscrolling through Facebook shouldn’t make you want to toss your computer or take up day-drinking.

Now, I’m not suggesting you break up with this friend until the end of time, just until they can get themselves back on track and knock it off with the conspiracy bullshit.

Let me introduce you to the Unfriend, Unfollow and Block buttons. There comes a time in every relationship when you have to ask yourself if this person is off their rocker or not. If yes, the time has probably come for you to part ways. Think of it as a Conscious Social Media Uncoupling.

If this is someone you interact with IRL, things can get a little trickier, but the same rules apply. You are not under any circumstances obligated to spend time with people who puke up toxic bullshit all over your life.

You also don’t need to stress yourself out trying to correct all of their dumbfuckery. If you’re up to the Herculean task, go forth and drop truth. Good luck and godspeed. Not all heroes wear capes. Just know that it might be a thankless and fruitless task. They may be too far gone down the rabbit hole of the Cult of Trump. Keep an open mind for their return to reality, but don’t hold your breath or create unrealistic expectations that you can “fix” them.

Here’s the brutal truth: People change, and they aren’t always who we thought they were. 2020 has been eye-opening in so many ways. People are showing their true colors, and sometimes those colors are hallucinogenic nonsense. That’s why I’ve gone full-blown KonMari on my life and the people in it. Feel free to do the same.

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