Can’t We Be United? Facebook and Politics Don’t Mix

Facebook and politics don’t mix. If you’ve been on Facebook lately or anytime really, you will have seen it. Political posts on Facebook are rampant.

Long gone are the days where we looked forward to logging onto Facebook. Remember the early days when we were so happy to connect with long-ago friends?

We would relish in the ability to keep up with dozens — and then hundreds — of friends near and far.

But now? Many of those same Facebook friends — along with people you see everyday in real life — use Facebook differently.

Now, everyone says whatever they want on Facebook, with zero regard whether they are being politically correct or not.

They say what they mean, and they don’t care what anyone thinks.

It’s often annoying. I don’t want to know all of this about these people. We had a lighthearted Facebook friendship but now it’s gotten too serious and heated.

Sometimes these posts are filled with hatred.

Sure, most of us have strong opinions about local and world events. But that doesn’t mean they belong on Facebook.

Can you filter out political posts on Facebook?

It would be wonderful if Facebook had a feature to block political posts. Sadly, they don’t.

However, something that helps is the Unfollow button.

We all have Facebook friends who make political posts. You know who they are. We all usually have at least one or two friends who are outspoken on Facebook.

If their political posts annoy you, you can Unfollow them. What’s great about this feature is:

  • They won’t know you unfollowed them
  • You are still Facebook friends with them

When you Unfollow someone, it means you won’t see anything they post pop into your newsfeed. They beauty of this is you can still go to their wall and see what they post and interact if you choose.

They won’t know that you aren’t seeing their political posts and other posts.

Again, should you wish to engage with this Facebook friend, you can easily go to their page and Like or Comment on any of their posts.

What this does is lets you control if you see their posts or not. When it comes to friends posting their political views and opinions on Facebook, this is a wonderful option.

If it’s really too much, you may want to learn how to unfriend someone on Facebook.

Do you respond to friends’ political posts?

We all know how annoying it is to see politics on Facebook. But what do you do when your Facebook friends are writing about issues you disagree with?

First, take a breath. It’s sometimes shocking to learn that someone who thought you knew and had a lot in common with shares views so differently from your own.

You may have been able to tolerate it better if you heard it in person in the context of a conversation or discussion. Yet sometimes, when we are least expecting it… Bam! You see a friend make a controversial post on Facebook. You’re stunned.

They put their opinions out there, and you better stay out of the way if you don’t agree with them.

So take this advice, if you don’t agree, don’t acknowledge the post. Move along.

By making a comment and including your differing opinion, it really won’t change theirs. It will likely add fuel to the fire and nothing more.

Facebook and political posts

In the aftermath of the presidential election and especially after Inauguration Day, everyone’s Facebook Newsfeeds exploded with political commentary.

With so many Faceboook friends posting political opinions, I wanted to scream, “Why are you posting that?”

And if they are really truly thinking these things, “Why are you posting them on Facebook?!”

It’s happening now too in our current political climate. Whether or not I agree with their posts is irrelevant. Political posts don’t belong on Facebook.

Pretty please with cherry on top: Stop posting political opinions on Facebook.

Facebook and politics

Remember years ago when we were all new to Facebook? We might have encouraged spirited debate but we didn’t go all out to hate and argue and accuse and defame.

Here we are years later…. We are going about our lives. We open up Facebook and BOOM! All of the political opinions!

Here I thought we had so much in common, but wow, we really do not. It’s like a blow somehow. I feel deceived and duped after all this time. I thought I knew this person but I don’t.

What’s with all of these political rants? Can’t Facebook just be fun and lighthearted?

While I’m trying really hard to try to move on, It. Is. Really. Difficult.

It’s hard to not know what you now know about some people’s views.

I am really doing my best to not Like or Comment on anyone’s political anything, whether I agree with them or not. But gosh, it’s hard!

Staying off Facebook

Many people opt to stay off Facebook during heated political times. This is a great way to just cocoon away and not deal with any of it.

We highly recommend this option. Taking a break from Facebook has many advantages, especially in politically-charged climates when it brings you down instead of bringing you joy.

Support America by being positive

I’m hoping for so many positive changes. I don’t need to be right in my political opinions. This is much bigger than me and what I think, believe, and feel.

No matter what we really believe, it is important to support our teachers, our coach, our boss, our political leaders.

United we stand and divided we fall. Yes, it’s a cliche and an old junior high cheer, but it’s true decades and generations later.

Sadly, especially these days, I use the Unfollow option often as I try to hide people’s political opinions.

Doing good things because of what’s going on

I do admire the people who are so upset with our current political climate that they are doing good things.

They are doing things to make a difference intentionally.

So there is some good coming out of this.

When they post that on Facebook — without making a big political statement — that is something positive, and I view it that way.

Facebook and politics
Facebook and politics (Photo credit: Olin Gilbert)

Political rants on Facebook

Even though I’ve lived in many places, including some super-conservative and super-liberal areas, I’ve been shocked at things my Facebook friends are posting.

I’ve known many of my friends had very different views from each other.

However, somehow with this post-Inauguration Day posting, it seems almost worse than after Trump was elected. (Maybe everyone was in shock?)

I have one friend who posted 38 times with 38 political posts from Inauguration Day morning until the following Tuesday.

That’s 38 political posts in five days. Yes, I Unfollowed her!

I’m sure she posted more the sixth and seventh days, and longer. I never checked her page to find out.

Something I do to curb my time on Facebook is to check the first 10 posts in my Facebook News Feed. Then I go on to click and read all the Facebook notifications.

This helps me keep my time on Facebook short and sweet.

On Inauguration Day, nine of the first 10 posts in my Facebook News Feed were political posts… 90%!

(Aren’t you interested to know what the other one was about? The one and only post that wasn’t political was about someone getting a flat tire.)

Inauguration Day and Women’s Marches on Facebook

The day of the Women’s Marches, I checked the first 10 Facebook posts in my Newsfeed again.

Three posts — ranking higher because of all the likes and comments — were my Facebook friends posting about being at the Women’s March closest to them.

The fourth post was a Facebook friend’s post how she was in Washington, DC for the march.

Another three posts were political.

That left three posts which were about random things:

  • Someone’s dinner at a restaurant
  • Another asking to say a prayer for someone who was injured ice skating (head trauma)
  • A friend’s new puppies. (Yay! Don’t spoiled, precious puppies make everything better?!)

Sure, I’ve unfriended and unfollowed people before, but this time, it seems to be a lot different.

People can’t seem to keep their opinions to themselves.

And the thing about this election/outcome is that people have very strong opinions.

No one is going to be swayed to the other side after reading a post. So why bother posting anything at all?

Sunday after Inauguration Day on Facebook

The Sunday after Inauguration Day, it was really heating up.

People must have had a lot of extra time, not being a traditional work day.

Many missed the Inauguration Day television viewing and must have gone to their politically-biased “news source” of choice and spent their time righteously commenting about all things politics.

That was a tough day to be on Facebook if you didn’t want to be a part of these conversations.

The first 8/10 posts showing up in my Facebook Newsfeed that Sunday were political, including those that were related to the Women’s March.

The other two posts?

One friend saying “Goodbye for the next four years,” alerting everyone she was taking a break from Facebook.

While not political in nature, it was fallout from all of the political postings.

The other non-political post was a Facebook friend wishing her son a Happy Birthday.

Monday after Inauguration Day on Facebook

The Monday after Inauguration Day?

I was still reeling from everything I read on Sunday so I stayed off Facebook all day…. that’s no small achievement either!

But at least I didn’t get aggravated from everyone’s Facebook posts, and I accomplished a lot being offline.

Tuesday night after Inauguration Day on Facebook

At long last, that Tuesday, my Facebook Newsfeed displayed “just” 3/10 political posts!

Hurray! Was it finally ending?

(My friend who posted her political opinions 38 times in five days? I’m sure she’s still posting away. I haven’t taken the time to go to her page to find out.)

Why are so many people posting their political opinions on Facebook?

What happened to fun in Facebookland? What happened to cute pictures of pets and braggy pictures of your children’s accomplishments?

I long to see someone showing off their fabulous vacation.

I now find myself hunting down certain people who I can count on to post perfect pictures of their perfect kids in perfect outfits.

Where are the lighthearted, attention-seeking cliffhanger posts? Let’s celebrate a Facebook birthday.

These are the posts I now crave.

Please, Facebook friends, post these now so that I don’t have to be annoyed at the political posts so many want to keep writing.

I’m especially stunned at people with professional jobs, in the public especially, posting their opinions. Facebook and politics do not mix.

Didn’t we all learn as we entered our twenties and started having adult conversations to avoid all discussions pertaining to money/finances, religion, and politics?

How didn’t others learn this too? Why is it okay to blast these hot topics out on Facebook?

February after Inauguration Day on Facebook

A month after the inauguration, I had a Facebook friend post he was going to deactivate his Facebook account because he was so disgusted at all the political posts.

He said Facebook is supposed to be fun, a community to support each other, not for political statements and arguments.

He didn’t want to now think bad things about these people who are quoting from biased “news” sources who disagree what he believes.

I’m sure he misses the ease of being in touch with so many people so effortlessly but he was fed up.

Showing a united front on Facebook

Whenever I read a political post, all I can think of is how sad that our United States isn’t united.

All the world knows it too. I flashback to a junior high volleyball game. I remember our coach being very upset because we weren’t being a team. We were down on each other.

She emphasized how we needed to display a united front in front of our opponents, our competitors.

This holds true today in my kids’ sports. Coaches and parents teach them to be a team, to build each other up, and to support each other.

No matter what, kids learn to display a united front and solidarity in front of their opponents.

Yet we as adults… on Facebook… in the newspapers… online… on the radio… everywhere… we are not showing our solidarity to other nations.

Even worse, there are many wishing our current political leaders to fail.

Whether you like President Trump or despise him, hoping he fails is the equivalent of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

If he fails, that hurts America. It hurts all of us. Do you really need to be that right? I sure don’t.

NFL players and the National Anthem

Then political dissent reached NFL players. Keep America united in the news!

These football players are role models, making millions of dollars a year.

Wouldn’t it be great if they were respectful “at work,” (at their games), in front of their millions of fans… and they did something positive off the field?

Instead of jumping on the bandwagon at a game, they can make their statements off the field by donating, volunteering, or doing something to make their point.

Social Fixer app

There is an option other than Unfriending in order to filter out political statements on Facebook. It requires downloading the Social Fixer for Facebook app.

This is actually a way to filter out political posts on Facebook.

Check out this option if you don’t want to Unfollow someone. This app enables you to filter out offending posts.

Facebook and politics don’t mix

We all love Facebook. We want to continue loving Facebook. Can’t we just keep Facebook positive?

I implore you all, please stop posting your political views on Facebook. Politics and Facebook are a bad combination.

Set up an invite-only Facebook group for politically like-minded Facebook friends if you must.

Then you can all agree with how correct you are. The rest of us don’t want to read it.