Friday, September 07, 2012

Facebook Friends During an Election Year


Well it's started in earnest - the presidential political campaign is in full swing with sound bytes, slogans and mudslinging on both sides...

and that's just among my Facebook Friends!

I enjoy Facebook - I really do. Some of the best parts of my day come from reading little quips and jokes from my real life and online buddies. I also enjoy keeping up on family news and information that I wouldn't otherwise know about.

But lately I find myself taking a deep breath before I go to my Facebook Newsfeed, because I am never quite sure if I am going to find something like

Photo: Share this if you agree with President Clinton: The only man who can move America forward is President Obama. http://OFA.BO/zY5mBa

or worse
Photo: Share if you agree that Romney-Ryan are too extreme for women, and too extreme for Ohio.


Now normally, I would face controversy this head on and get into a wordy and probably lengthy debate/discussion.  BUT many of these Facebook friends are REAL friends - people I have a history with or see regularly, people that I love and have shared important parts of my life with.  And I know from personal experience that to get into these types of discussions is just going to lead to hurt feelings and damaged relationships.

I say this as someone who voted for Jimmy Carter.

One of my very young and dear friends, in fact one of my godchildren, is very open about supporting President Obama and the Democratic party.  I literally sit on my fingers when I read this stuff so that I don't type something that will get me into trouble later!  There has to be a way to get through the next couple of months without going nuts.

The most obvious solution is to go cold turkey and just not read Facebook at all.  I've considered that.

But instead I have found a more "realistic" solution and it just might work.

First I have to go to the wall pages of a friend that I know to be...er... politically active.  If I go to the top of their page and put my cursor over the "Friends" button just below their cover photo on the right, I can change my relationship with them.  For the next few months, such folks are going into a new category I have called "political."  Then (and this part is crucial) I make sure there is no check mark in front of the words "Show in Newsfeed."  That way I have just guaranteed that I won't get their political views, quips and posters in my newsfeed when I open it up.  I can still visit their walls of course, but it gives me a chance to take a deep breath and prepare myself before I do it!

So that's my defensive move.  For the offence - well I try not to be offensive.  I am refraining from putting any posters or jokes about the democrats at all - and that's really hard because some of them are very cleaver and funny!  I will however post anything that has to do with pro-life or religious liberties because I'm just not willing to compromise on those things.

For example:



Photo: "Like" and "Share" if you agree with GK Chesterton.

OK, once in  a while I succumb


but I don't think that was offensive and it was kind of funny.

Mainly I just can't wait for this to be over and hopefully when it is the gulf between me and some of my more liberal friends won't be too wide.  That's what I'm hoping anyway.


Photo: Enough said

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