Facebook Politics

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Dear Hoopers,
Facebook is driving me nuts.  I have a diverse group of friends and that has really been shown to me lately. Sometimes I am completely surprised and confused by some of the things my friends are posting. While I wouldn’t consider myself to be overly political, there are some causes that I care about. I care about Black Lives Matter but I also care about Blue Lives Matter. I feel torn because it seems like every time I login to facebook I leave feeling more hurt and angry than I ever have experienced. I want to say things that I believe in on facebook but I don’t want to piss people off either. I’m thinking about maybe just logging off from facebook for a while. Should I delete or keep watching the storm brew?
-Facebook Politics

Dear Facebook Politics,
I know what you mean. Social media connects us in such a unique way that we can really hear what our friends and family think about things. We hear what they think about the burrito they ate for lunch and we can hear what they think about black lives matter, Bernie, Hillary, and Donald. While this may help you to connect even more with those who have a similar world view as you, it can really create tension with those who don’t.

So what to do? One option is just to sign off. As long as you don’t see what your friends say, it’s like it didn’t happen. Another option is to become a facebook evangelist. Take the fate of all political discussions into your hands. Remind yourself that if you don’t post that video or that article, all others will truly be worse without you. Lastly, you could just be yourself. Post about things you feel passionate about, respond to posts that resonate with you, do what you can to present a genuine but balanced representation about your views.


Try to find some balance with political posts. And remember that most importantly, don’t be a jerk.

-Dr. Ryan

If it’s not obvious already, I think the last option is the best. Although signing off may feel better in the short term, I’m not sure that burying your head in the sand truly makes things better. Also know that while your contribution to political discussion is valuable, not even one political issue will be decided from your facebook post.

Just try to be yourself. Try to find some balance with political posts. And remember that most importantly, don’t be a jerk. Oh, and if someone else is being a jerk, remember that the unfriend button is always an option.
-Dr. Ryan

Dear Facebook Politics,
You, me and most can probably attest to a lot of head shaking as of late when it comes to the multitude of posts streaming on our social media feeds, especially for fingers fast to share posts without fact or credential checking. Social media has become a primary platform for many to learn, discuss, and share. Discussing politics is important for us to help form our opinions and to understand the opinions of others.

If everyone could step back before posting and ask themselves, is this information true? Is it necessary to share? Is it kind hearted? Then I’m sure less of us would leave feeling pissed off. If every time you log on you leave feeling disgruntled, then I would try to pinpoint what is upsetting you. Is it the lack of education you see in political conversation, or not being able to collect your thoughts in order to provide an articulate response?


If everyone could step back before posting and ask themselves, is this information true? Is it necessary to share? Is it kind hearted?

-Kate

Taking time off from facebook can certainly be used to invest in more time to educate yourself about cultural and political issues. You can also choose to temporarily unfollow posts or hide posts from individuals who are causing frustration until after the election.

I have turned my frustration into fuel. Fuel to learn more about issues at hand. Although I choose not to flood my feed with political discussion, I welcome discussions to express my opinion and hear from others in an environment that is respectful.
-Kate

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