Facebook: Friends’, Politics, Dislike!

Facebook is my happy place. A virtual water cooler for a work-at-home mom who enjoys the company of a diverse group of Facebook friends, who include vegans, carnivores, the rich, the poor, the middle class, homeschoolers, those devoted to public education, natural healers, nurses and doctors, and, of course, liberals and conservatives.

It’s important to me that the pictures, links, commentaries, or comments I’m sharing on Facebook add something of value to the Facebook community that I’m a part of, so with that in mind, most of my Facebook posts are positive, random, and hopefully, amusing. I try. I love seeing my friends’ vacation pictures, pictures of their grade schoolers first day of school, and grandbabies—and hopefully I can be on hand to cheer them up when life sucks. In turn, my Facebook friends put up with my bragging about my kid, goofy stories, and personal rants.

Most people, I believe, sign on to Facebook to take a break from their worries, expecting to have some fun and not to be served serious politics with their cuppa or cheese sandwich. But these days it seems a few friends have decided to mix Facebook with politics, and it’s not FUN; it’s not fun at all.

I’m not sure what these friends expect to accomplish when they post their political deluges. Perhaps offending others and causing political unrest is fun for them. Could they really be so arrogant 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. Who knows, but with all the resources available to stay informed, do we really need Facebook friends to be our political resources? I would rather hear what they had for lunch.

The political cartoons and captions, and commentaries that show up in my newsfeed are rarely original and more often than not I kill the “share” by hitting delete. But occasionally friends will post their thoughts about issues that concern them directly, for example, angst over navigating the health care system or spending almost $5 a gallon at the gas pump, and those friends capture my attention. I care. I listen. I comment. It’s possible to be empathetic without causing political unease.

For those that long to share their political passion, why not look for like-minded individuals on forums and websites that have been expressly created for the exchange of political opinions. People may even welcome what you have to say there, but in my opinion, people don’t log onto Facebook to engage in political angst. Am I wrong?

Do you remember that bar we all used to love, where people came to take a break from all their worries? I think the theme song captures what most people dropping into Facebook hope to find.

Odd Loves Company

Not Liked so much on Facebook:  A new study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project shows 18 percent of social networking site users have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone because they don’t like their politics or how many posts they share about politics.

18 thoughts on “Facebook: Friends’, Politics, Dislike!

  1. Amen. Please don’t make your politics my business and I will show you the same courtesy.
    I’m sharing this on my Facebook wall.

    Thank you!

  2. I know I have been guilty, but let me explain. I used to avoid politics and religion on facebook, but lately I get slammed with so much of both that I sometimes post something back.. for balance I guess… especially when I am getting slammed with untrue propaganda. Also, I see a lot of huge political posts/pics that are something a friend just clicked “like” on, but those show up on my wall/newsfeed, so I am sure you are getting a lot of that too. I didn’t realize that every time I click “like” on a pic it shows up in full to all of my friends until I saw my friends “likes” were on my wall. So basicaslly “like” is now the same as “share”? There must be a way to fix that in settings. I think it will only get worse until the election in November.

    • Stevie you are so moderate. I have also been guilty from time to time and have certainly showcased my own causes. I also get tired of the lack of balance. Your right it will continue to get worse–that is why I like the hide button and the ability to unsubscribe to individual posts. And when people are flat out mean–I think we are obligated to speak out.

      Thanks for sharing!

      • Thanks. I click hide on 95% of it too….then I give in and share something…. and usually regret it because of the nastiness that follows. Once I made it obvious which candidate I was supporting, it got a lot worse. I even started getting some private messages from FB “friends” who wanted to argue about it. *sigh*

  3. It’s all about respect and it seems when the topic is heated respect goes flying out the proverbial window. Bravo for this post, my friend. I always wanted to hangout where everybody knew my name and they were ALWAYS glad I came. ♥

    • So true. I really enjoy talking about issues with open minded people who have a genuine interest in stepping outside their box to hear or learn something new. I might not agree but I can walk away understanding you and your point of view more clearly if the conversation does not turn to insults and name calling. We are ALWAYS glad when you show up Diane. ♥

  4. I concur. Wholeheartedly. Facebook is my respite, my entertainment, my inspiration, my connection with friends and family. I have never been impressed nor swayed by the plethora of political rants.

  5. I just unfriended a buddy who couldn’t let the political rhetoric go. He jumped into the middle of every post and insulted my friends who held a different point of view. The funny thing is we are both a member of the same political party. I supported his views but not how he shared them in a social environment. Finally it just wasn’t worth it anymore. I’m still his friend in real life where I see him far less than I saw him on Facebook. He admits he gets carried away but just can’t seem to control himself.
    I like it when people share music and of-course talk sports–insipid maybe but what can I say I’m a guy!

  6. Give me strength! I’m so sick and tired of all the political BS. Politics runs deep in my family and I don’t need to sign on to facebook for more of it. In my opinion these people don’t go to forums because of the like minded people. They want to hang out where they can stir the pot and take it upon themselves to educate the rest of us. I have told a few of them to GO AWAY. Other’s that I love, I just delete the comments. I could not agree with you more. I’m sharing your post with the masses. Thank you!

  7. Guilty as charged. I do share my political points of view on Facebook but I never push them onto someone’s else’s page even when we’re like minded. I might add my two cents tho on another thread from time to time but I try to be respectful. It’s hard sometimes. With the election only two months away I’m being much more careful and putting a lot less of my thoughts on Facebook not because I’m worried about offending friends but because I value our friendships and it’s a politically sensitive time.

  8. If families often don’t survive political conversation during an election year, why would anyone think facebook friendships could. Facebook and Politics should not be mixed. I care a great deal about this election and the issues but would not presume that we’re all on the same page or that it was my job to educate people on a social media. People who do are politically obnoxious and socially clueless, harm the candidate they support, in my opinion.
    Excellent Post.

  9. Well said. A friend just posted something really obnoxious on their page and then tagged me as part of the conversation. I joined in and said I found the cartoon offense even tho we were on the same political page. it didn’t end well. Several other people jumped in and in brief told me to get over it. We are no longer friends. I won’t enter into another political discussion on Facebook and will hide or unfriend people who push their political views at me. I will also share this on my page. Thank you.

  10. I feel like clicking like on each of the paragraph!! LIKE, LIKE, LIKE!!!
    Some people take their choice to the heart and take it way too serious, nothing wrong with that, but if you post an opinion in an open forum, you have to be ready for the responses. A friend post something about healthcare, its getting heated, and I posted some jokes to lighten the mood, boy it got backfired! 🙂

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