Political Posts on Social Media

I’ve seen a few people make posts to this effect recently, and I agree with them: We all realize that none of our political posts ever changes anyone’s minds, don’t we? I’m starting to see a more frenetic pace of political posts from those FB friends I haven’t unfollowed but whose politics I don’t share. But if what you’re posting is meant to “educate” people about the vileness of such and such a candidate, you’re wasting your time.

I mean, I’m not saying don’t bother, because everybody should post about the things that matter to them. I have and will continue to do so. I’m just not deluded into thinking I’m making a difference when it comes to those who disagree with me. The most I hope for is that people who DO agree with me are encouraged by seeing someone articulate what they believe—I get quite a few private messages saying so—and maybe I can get people who are on the fence to think. (And I brace myself against those who disagree with me trying to hijack my comment thread with bombastic talking points, lol.) Having said that, I’ve been struck by the number of people who’ve told me privately that, while they don’t agree with everything I write, they still enjoy reading what I have to say. Maybe that means they think I’m being fair? Or am just articulate and write well? Whatever it is, it’s nice of them to say. 

I was criticized this past summer and de-friended because I wrote about unfollowing people whose posts were too obnoxious. I don’t unfollow to disrespect people, or to shut them down, or to deny them their right to speak; I just prefer to avoid being tempted by their posts into getting into a long-winded debate that sucks up my mental energy but ultimately does nothing to change anybody’s minds or even to make them consider a different point of view. Tell me that when you see somebody post some obnoxious claim that you don’t hover the cursor over the comment box to refute them. I call that circling the rabbit hole. Gotta make a saving throw versus Wisdom to avoid diving in (you D&D nerds will get that reference, heh). Just better not to have seen it to begin with, right?

So long story short, knock yourself out with the political posts, but understand that in most cases we’re all just preaching to the choir.


Facebook is what you make of it

Facebook, and social media in general, are exactly what we each choose to make of it. We can use it to share important moments in our lives, trivial moments in our lives, share silly videos of kittens and puppies, and of course pontificate about current events, among countless other purposes. We can make it as drama-filled or as chill as we decide. Despite lamentations when people become fed up with other people’s (usually political) posts, it’s neither good nor bad, but like all things it’s best in moderation and prudence.

Today I learned that a friend I went to college with passed away earlier this week, and I learned it because of Facebook. Without FB, it’s likely I may never have known, since I hadn’t seen him since I graduated college fourteen years ago, not unless I randomly ran into a common acquaintance somewhere down the line. So yes, Facebook is important that way.

This week I also apparently lost a friend because they took exception to my blog post about unfollowing friends whose political posts I had begun to find predictable and/or obnoxious. Insinuated I was being a hypocrite because I wouldn’t read their posts, but by staying FB friends I expected them to read mine, then subsequently unfriended me. That was a bummer, because we had been close once upon a time, even though we hadn’t spoke in over a year, and my blog had nothing to do with that person, specifically. It really bothered me, as have a couple of other people recently who’ve cut ties with me. I’m not talking about just losing touch; I mean they basically burned bridges, and I really don’t understand why. One person earlier this spring essentially stated I was using them in their final communique. “No offense, but I prefer friendships where the effort is mutual”, or something like that. Well, that’s pretty fucking offensive if you ask me, especially when you’re completely wrong. I consider myself to be capable of honest reflection and if somebody criticizes me and my character, I take it to heart…but for the life of me I still believe they’re both wrong in their characterization of me and to have done what they did. But what are you going to do?

I know this isn’t a bubbly post, but I needed to vent some frustrations publicly. Like I said, FB is what you make of it.