Politics vs social sites

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The old saying about not discussing religion or politics seems to be as outdated these days as parachute pants and VHS tapes, at least when it comes to the latter.

If you’ve been on any form of social media in the past couple of weeks, no doubt your newsfeeds have been inundated with posts and tweets about the presidential debates and upcoming election.

From loyal Obama backers to rallying Romney supporters to independents and those who just “don’t care at all,” it seems as though everyone has an opinion.

And social media has been the place to share it.

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While the Web can serve as a good spring board for exercising the right to free speech, it can also become an avenue for bitter arguments between friends, family and even strangers,when it comes to a topic as volatile as politics.

But because people can hide behind a monitor and say whatever they want, the Internet has become a place to blast, not only candidates, but every belief, opinion or conviction someone else may hold.

Apparently all old adages have been thrown out the window because the wisdom of not saying anything at all if you can’t say something nice has also been discounted as people take to their keyboards and computer screens to vent about who said what during the debates.

Sure, political conversation can be a great thing. And the fact that we have the freedom to engage in such conversations so openly is a right we should not take for granted.

However, what good is it doing anyone to rant on Facebook about your opinions without any regard for whom you may offend?

It’s almost enough to make you think twice about logging on to social media sites at all.

Who wants to be berated with one hostile statement after another when all you really wanted was to look at pictures of your best friend’s cruise or read a humorous post about someone’s day?

And it doesn’t just stop at one comment.

If you’re looking to garner attention on your wall or feed, just say something offensive about one of the presidential candidates or mock something they said on national television during the debates.

Soon, your friends and followers, and possibly their friends and followers, will engage in an argument that goes on for hours, or even days if you’re lucky.

And usually, the conversation turns into petty name calling that has little or nothing to do with the original post.

The truth is, it’s unlikely that what is said on any social media site in a moment of annoyance while watching a debate is ever going to change someone else’s political perspective.

It will, however, probably offend at least one reader.

Therefore, it is wise to think long and hard before you commit to actually posting it online, where you don’t have the benefit of being able to explain or discuss statements in person like people did in the good ’ol days.

Author: JC Jones

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