Why? Why must everyone rant and rave about politics on Facebook? Aren’t politics that one thing you just aren’t supposed to speak of… ever… unless you are in a place where everyone believes the same thing (i.e. Fox News or MSNBC)? Politics are something not to be discussed at the dinner table, work, school, even the bar (drunk fights over beliefs = not okay). So WHY do we find it okay to discuss politics via the Internet? Is it because we don’t have to deal with the face to face confrontation of someone disagreeing with us? Is it because we don’t have to come up with a quick comeback when someone disputes our statements (we can just Google a good response)? Is it because we enjoy feeding into the conversation even though we have no idea what we’re talking about – and Twitter and Facebook are the only places we can do that and seem like we have a clue? It’s probably a mix of the three… but it certainly doesn’t have to be.
Let’s get one thing straight: Sitting on Twitter during the debates is fun. Some people are tweeting angry things about one or both candidates (in this race, it’s usually both). Some people are poking fun at facial expressions, moderators, and phrases made such as ‘gang bang’ and ‘binders full of women.’ Others are tweeting how angry they are that certain network shows are not on (coughnewgirlcough) because of this stupid debate (those, my friends, are the real undecided voters). And others are voicing their hatred for politics and everything having to do with politics. All of this in 160 characters or less. Most of the people who quickly come and go on your Twitter feed, you won’t know personally and will therefore form opinions about once you see their true feelings towards America… but not really care because, like, it’s just a Tweet.
Facebook is another story. For some reason (and probably because you can type more than 160 characters), people go nuts in explaining what they believe in, why they believe it, and therefore why they hate so-and-so and think this country is either going to sh*t or can be fixed with the help of ___. Why are you stating your beliefs on Facebook? No one can read it except your ‘friends.’ And I highly doubt all of your Facebook friends share the same beliefs as you. People you know are going to develop new feelings toward you (some will like you more… some will dislike you more).
The worst is when others feed in to one’s angry political status. They comment on it either agreeing or disagreeing, and really start a social media epidemic. The more comments on a status, the more likely it is to keep showing up on your newsfeed. Everyone is forced to watch this fight go down that was started by this one person’s Facebook status. Not to mention these fights can get slightly awk depending on the topic. And probably when you actually see your enemies in person.
Like, you know not everyone is going to agree with you… so why post it? What if you’re friends with co-workers? They might start to form negative opinions about you. What if you’re single? You probably just got rid of some prospective hook ups. What if you just don’t give a f*ck? Well, I guess you obviously don’t. But you should.
My advice to those who love feeding political fuel on Facebook would be to join Twitter. Usually those who rant on FB don’t have Twitter… and they are the people who should. You can follow others who have the same beliefs as you – and they can follow you right back. You can discuss/argue political issues with strangers, enjoy yourself, and not get blocked from people you actually know on Facebook. Yes, you will have to dig in to the creative side of your brain (everyone has one… or at least I think they do) to come up with 160 characters that express what you’re thinking. But it’s possible. And it’s fun!
Things that are fine to post on Facebook include facts (unless your facts are trying to suggest something and lead to angry commenters), jokes, funny links (like this gem from The Betches and this binder from Mitt Romney), and basically nothing that will suggest your political beliefs. If your a democrat, congrats. If you’re a republican, congrats. And if you don’t believe in either – and only believe in parties, congrats to you. But there is no need to celebrate it on Facebook. You’re not going to change anyone’s mind.
So please, if you’re not going to join Twitter, keep your political opinions in your head or join some sort of group in which you can all rant, rave, and argue together (you can even do that on Facebook). Or… make a blog (best advice ever – seriously). I mean, some people are into political rants (clearly). Just, like, not me… and probably 98% of the people you’re friends with on Facebook. Of course sometimes it’s entertaining to watch the political fights on our newsfeeds and find out who we should like and who we shouldn’t, but do you really want to be the object of our laughter and judgement? I mean, even Kim Kardashian thinks it’s nonsense.
About the Author (Author Profile)Samantha is a Boston based 20-something who owns way too many clothes and and is openly addicted to teen dramas such as Pretty Little Liars. After graduating from Ithaca College, she started up Forever Twenty Somethings, a blog-turned-online-magazine about adjusting to life after college. Now she spends her days working full-time in television and whatever free time she has managing and writing for the website.
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- Politics on FacebookJoe Hagen | Graphic Design | Joe Hagen | Graphic Design | October 26, 2012