I was going to use some photographs of the people this post is about and just block out their faces, but on the off chance someone recognizes them, I won’t. They’re not my friends anymore, so why would I add insult to injury by using their pictures to make my point?
I’m not friends with some people I really liked and cared about because I used to post about politics and engage in heated debates on Facebook. I found myself unfriended by people I’d been pretty close to. And I unfriended some people too. This was a few years ago… and now looking back I think to myself, was it worth it?
Because how many minds did I change with all of my explosive posts?
There were some people who agreed with me, and many who didn’t, and while I’m still pretty firm in what I believe to be true about politics, war, foreign affairs, the state of our country, the government, and while I still do have those conversations face to face sometimes, sharing that crap on Facebook is pretty much pointless… Unless you really want to alienate friends who otherwise liked you and find yourself minus a few good people in your life.
When I see some of the stuff people post now I think, “oh Lord, that used to be me!” and I get embarassed all over again. I’m not just talking to uber-conservatives or ultra-liberals, I’m talking to everyone who posts their political feelings with no regard for how they come off to other people.
Some people post memes full of misinformation, misspellings, and bad grammar, and they look like idiots. See if you can find the two mistakes in the meme I used for this post… which I didn’t notice until after I published it. Point made?
Others are super hypocritical from one post to the next without even realizing it. Then there are the ones who are completely oblivious to the fact that their posts and beliefs are in fact hateful and exclusionary even if they’re in denial about it. And I think some people believe they’re actually doing something to help resolve the massive issues this country is facing by being outraged on Facebook.
Here’s the deal, you aren’t going to change anyone’s opinion by posting about politics on Facebook. You might change a friend’s opinion of you, but you’re not going to turn your liberal aunt into a conservative or your conservative cousin into a liberal. If you ask me, which you didn’t, but I’ll say it anyway, both sides are flawed, skewed, and way too polarizing to ever fix this country or the world.
The amount of bickering and fighting people do in the name of “freedom” “God” “religion” “my rights” “morality” and “keeping us safe” is utterly sad and ridiculous. No wonder this country is a mess. I’m seriously sorry I ever participated in it. I’m not sorry that I took a lot of time to read and educate myself about things that I believe are at least somewhat real and true, but I’m sorry I was so angry and polarizing and it caused me to lose friends.
So as the political mud-slinging on TV and in your news feed heats up, talk about it with your friends in real life, talk about it with your husband, your family, people at church, discuss, respectfully debate, read, learn more, fact check, investigate, consider, and continute to concern yourself with the future of our country, but think twice before you share your political views on Facebook.
Trust me, it wasn’t worth it.