Politics and Facebook Don’t Mix


Uncertainty about the economy and the future leaves most people feeling uneasy. Add in the complexities of managing family life and work, and it’s easy to see why we so eagerly seek the diversions of relaxation and entertainment. The possibilities are plentiful, from long-anticipated vacations, watching a movie or sporting event to just stealing a few moments to check in on Facebook. Anything that delivers the promise of fun, big or small, is welcome.

We are mightily annoyed by anyone who disrupts our plans to have fun. Politics is not fun. We go on vacation to get away from the daily grind, politics has nothing to do with it. We go to movies and sporting events for the brief respite they offer not expecting to deal with anything political. Likewise, many of us are not expecting to encounter political angst when we log-on to interact with friends on Facebook.

Things really get heated up in election years, and no election brings out the polarization like a Presidential one can. It seems people are more cemented in their positions than even the candidates whose success will be determined by how proficient they are at appealing to the majority. Party-endorsed smear campaigns are mostly ignored when they appear in mainstream media like television, radio and newspapers. But they are really unwelcome and offensive when posted to our newsfeed by our Facebook ‘friends’.

What is it these friends expect to accomplish by engaging in these tactics? Perhaps they assume that all of their friends agree with them. If that were truly the case, the posts would be pointless. Could they really be arrogant enough to believe that they can convert the undecideds and wayward thinkers by expounding on the perceived insanity of the opposing candidates and parties? Maybe they just think they’re so smart and doing us all a favor by making the decisions on the candidates because we aren’t intelligent enough to think for ourselves.

Politics is serious business and electing good leaders is not only a fundamental right, but a responsibility not to be taken lightly. Every citizen of voting age should evaluate the candidates and their positions carefully before casting their votes. The election process and varied media outlets provide ample resources to stay informed on the most important issues and where each candidate stands on them. We don’t need Facebook or our friends to be a political information resource.

Believe what you believe, support the politicians you choose, but remember that all of your friends will not always agree with your viewpoint. In fact, many of them will never agree. When it comes to politics, look for like-minded individuals on forums and websites that have been expressly created for the exchange of political opinions, or consider getting involved in the political process at the local level. People may even welcome what you have to say there.

You can prevent being frozen out by your friends and avoid the cold and desolation of polarized politics by not posting political cartoons, captions, commentary, etc. on Facebook. Leave the political world behind for a few minutes and join your friends for something more fun.

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