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Politics, friends, and Facebook friends


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Disclaimer: I'm not starting a political discussion. Please don't turn this thread into one.

As the presidential election approaches, the number of posts on Facebook about politics has skyrocketed. We used to see the same increase around election time when there was still a political forum here.

I posted a few political opinions on FB, but I've decided because I have loved ones on both extremes of the political spectrum, I am not doing it anymore. I don't want them to hate each other, since they can all see my posts/responses, and I figure if they want to discuss or argue politics with me, they can do it face-to-face or not at all (my preference being the latter).

Thinking about all this led me to another thought...I wonder if any of my Facebook friends--especially ex-wayfers who still hold the same/similar political views they held while in twi--have unfriended me, or if any of my other FB friends have unfriended each other over politics. This question occurred to me when I saw someone's name here on GS whose posts I used to see on FB but no longer do. She and I are not of the same political persuasion, and I didn't "break up" with her so perhaps she unfriended me. :biglaugh:

This leads me to the rhetorical question, "Is politics worth losing friends over, either those in real life or online?" Of course not! (I know it was rhetorical, but it was my question so I answered it anyway.) I love people's passion about politics (it's so much better than indifference), as long as it doesn't destroy relationships.

If you're on FB, do you engage in political discussion/debate? As far as you know, have you had any friends unfriend you there over your politics? Have you ever gotten so annoyed with someone else's political views that you unfriended them or hid their posts?

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I try to stay out of the fray. Sometimes, though, even innocuous statements are misconstrued and turned into something political by the other person. This happens with religious issues, as well....make a simple statement and, all of a sudden you're blasted with a teaching from The Blue Book. It reminds me of how we were taught in W&U to always be looking for "the open door". I've never un-friended anyone but, I know I've been un-friended because of statements that didn't agree with TWI doctrine. It's too bad we can't get past all that. What good is discussion if only one point of view is acceptable?

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I don't think I"ve unfriended anyone for political reasons. I have a lot of friends who are conservative, and others very liberal and all points in between.

I have made some fairly pointed statements from time to time. The Anti-Obama crowd could find something wrong with a blue sky and blame it on Obama, so that's a knee jerk stuff, I ignore it although a lot of good information is distributed by the same people too. It's the same with the Anti-Romney crowd. I'm also noticing that there's a lot of shifting going on this year - so who knows where people will end up.

If I find after getting to know / re know some people that we're not on the same wavelength for how we use facebook - like I get endless bible verses of the day, or floods of feel good affirmations and pictures of a political candidate with Lucifer horns photoshopped in, I may juggle the amount of inspiration I'm getting from them in my news feed. You can also hide them from your news feed.

I do that for completely non political reasons, and juggle the feeds from time to time, that way I can concentrate on people's input and stuff. I can always visit everyone's page as much as I want to anyway.

Plus if there are 100's of those in the News feed, it becomes unwieldy to manage, especially on an iPhone. You can "hide" or limit the amount of updates you get for feeds from friends. That might be an alternative for you, that way you don't see quite as much of what you don't want to see. But the mobile view of Facebook stinks anyway, no matter what.

I've been unfriended by some people. I guess they don't appreciate scintillating prose, insightful commentary, gut splliting humor and of course, the ultimate good-thang, Me, in all my splendor and wonderfulness. So be it. :biglaugh:Can't do much for that kind of emotional and intellectual squalor. :biglaugh:

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My FB account...is hardly ever visited. I use it mostly for looking for people who I used to know, to see what they're up to. And where they are now, so that I can avoid them, if ex-Wayfers. I prefer friends in the flesh not in the ether.

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Well, yeah. Maybe it's just me but I don't make "friends" based on our political views specifically, it's generally other things. And maybe it's just me but I have friends who definitely don't think like I do politically that are intelligent, compassionate and caring people. Hmmm.

It's a really valuable thing to understand that in this life there are some things you absolutely can not and will not ever change, no matter how much you want to change them. Sometimes you have to take stock, see the differences, and let them stand and go on from there with the common good in mind. That is very much the "American Way", IMO.

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An interesting question, Linda. :wave:

Probably 25% or more of my incoming FB newsfeed from friends is politically oriented, and I would guess about 40% of my own posts this time of the season. I can only think of one person who deleted me, and I really did not know her. We met on one of the game apps.

I have numerous FB friends of all political persuasions, and mostly we stay out of each others hair and off each others status updates when we heartily disagree and only goodnaturedly jab at each other there. Some of my FB friends I knew in high school or before and some are business contacts. When we see each other face to face, we can talk amicably about politics or work or the weather or fires or whatever. We just (wisely I think) choose not to make a pubic ruckus on a Facebook page.

I do control it a little bit by adjusting who gets to see some of my posts. When I am being snarky or sharing a particularly mischievous political post I adjust the setting to "Friends except Acquaintances.". Those who I know are vehemently of the other political persuasion, and most my vague business contacts are in the Acquaintance list. I may find the post humorous, and so will most my real life close friends, but I am not going to change anyone's mind by being snarky in a post on FB, so why tick them off? I post them (and read others) because those who see them find them funny and we share a laugh.

All that said, I enjoy the discussions and we often have some stridently oppositional, but respectful, back and forth with each other as I participate on many posts nightly with my other FB friends. The discussions are much more respectful than I previously experienced in the old days here. I like it like that.

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What good is discussion if only one point of view is acceptable?

I've always thought that, too. Unfortunately, many people think their way of thinking politically is the only way, with no shades of grey. Discussion too often turns into a verbal cat fight.

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If I find after getting to know / re know some people that we're not on the same wavelength for how we use facebook - like I get endless bible verses of the day, or floods of feel good affirmations and pictures of a political candidate with Lucifer horns photoshopped in, I may juggle the amount of inspiration I'm getting from them in my news feed. You can also hide them from your news feed.

I do that for completely non political reasons, and juggle the feeds from time to time, that way I can concentrate on people's input and stuff. I can always visit everyone's page as much as I want to anyway.

Plus if there are 100's of those in the News feed, it becomes unwieldy to manage, especially on an iPhone. You can "hide" or limit the amount of updates you get for feeds from friends. That might be an alternative for you, that way you don't see quite as much of what you don't want to see. But the mobile view of Facebook stinks anyway, no matter what.

I hear ya, Socksness.

I have an ex-sister-in-law who flooded my page with cutesy (to her) quotes, every picture she ever found online showing any kind of animal (I love 'em too, but enough already), what she's doing at every point of every day. By the time I got to view my FB page, it was filled with her "stuff" and causing everything else to scroll away too fast.

Politically speaking, though, the people I'm trying to keep from virtually choking each other don't fall into that category, and I want to see all their posts to see how they're doing. Some of them live on the other side of the country. But I have Pres. Obama lovers and haters in my family, gun nuts and gun control advocates, so it can get a little dicey.

The unfriending question just came up because of exwafer friends who clearly don't share my political views. I haven't dumped any of them, but suspect I have been dumped. :D Family's something different. I certainly have no intentions of "unfamilying" anyone, and hopefully they feel the same about me. :biglaugh:

i have a fear of -- or just don't want to -- join facebook

i would NEVER want to un-friend a friend for political views

mwah

Come on in, the water's fine!

And I would never unfriend you, either!

Well, yeah. Maybe it's just me but I don't make "friends" based on our political views specifically, it's generally other things. And maybe it's just me but I have friends who definitely don't think like I do politically that are intelligent, compassionate and caring people. Hmmm.

Amen to that!

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Hi HAP :wave:

I see your FB posts, so I know how political they are. I also have seen that they start some fairly reasonable discussions, too, which is good. You're right...the tone there is much more civil than it was in the political forum here. MUCH. I find that difference interesting and have a few theories about why that might be, but no time to verbalize them now.

If it were just a matter of pi$$ing off or not pi$$ing off my old twi friends, I wouldn't hesitate to state my political positions frequently. But for the sake of elderly relatives and other family members I love, I think zipping my FB lip is the way to go. It's hard. If one particular beloved aunt posts one more "Don't you miss George W. Bush" blurb I might have to stop biting my tongue and say, "Not only no, but hell no!" :)

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Hi Linda.

...or if any of my other FB friends have unfriended each other over politics. This question occurred to me when I saw someone's name here on GS whose posts I used to see on FB but no longer do.

I have "lost" a couple of friends on FB but I believe it was a FB glitch that dropped them from my list, as those people had no reason to un-friend me.

On the other hand, I did drop a "friend" because of his long and idiotic political rants, but this was someone I haven't seen since high school and was never really friends with in the first place.

If you're on FB, do you engage in political discussion/debate?

Not anymore. Not on FB anyway. I was in job search mode for a while and I didn't want anything like that to affect my chances of getting a job. I even deleted my political and religious views from my profile.

As far as you know, have you had any friends unfriend you there over your politics? Have you ever gotten so annoyed with someone else's political views that you unfriended them or hid their posts?

None of my FB are that strident about their views. If they were and their posts became annoying, I'd probably drop them or hide their posts.

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Yeh LZ - I've fought labels all my life, I don't like to use them on others anymore than I like them used on me. A person doesn't have to be a Repub'can or Dem'crat to be a jerk. Or an engaged and inspired person.

Course I do label things and people, so I can't say I'm perfect. Politicians are suspect critters, to me. Today the job requires such an acceptance of vile and bile it seems no decent person would want the job of representing a group of voters. There are some though and it may be that the worst of the political process is just a representation of the worst of our society. LIke a very expensive mirror.

Farkbake as I sometimes like to call it is a fun thing to have though. It's got it's ups and downs for me. I've been very happy at the opportunity it affords to hook up with people and connect. It's a sucky arrangement though - it's free for the most part so for the price I'm paying I can't complain too much but the direction it's gone is lame but I ignore the features I don't like or want and try to adjust to the never ending changes and enhancements. It's funny though - the one things that's pretty bullet proof is the 'unfriend' thing - I guess it's honor amongst thieves for Fachbike programmers. :biglaugh:

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Because of my current medical and financial situation I have unfriended all of my conservative "friends". I am at an age now that there is not much I can do to improve my health on my own. Our new state governor has cut aid to thousands in my shoes. I live a simple life but there is absolutely no way I can afford my health care or meds.

I am not looking to retire in a condo in Florida. I just want to afford my humble home that I have been in for the past 35 years.

NEVER MIND - You will not understand unless you are in my shoes.

Edited by Modgellan
I have removed a phrase containing political opinion, to avoid having the thread turn move away from Linda's topic. Thank you everyone for your cooperation.
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I havn't unfriended anyone for their political views. Only one time did I tell my sister-in-law that what she wrote was a complete lie.

I am reconnecting with old high school friends as I approch my 40th reunion. There I unfriended. The guy was so openly gay that I couldn't handle the posts. I can tollerate anothers views. JUST DON'T KEEP PUTTING UP PICTURES THAT MAKE MY SKIN CRAWL. Sorry for shouting.

You can understand anothers views. You can ignor their comments. But I draw the line at picture after picture depicting a lifestyle that I find offensive.

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LOL, true story from yesterday that immediately reminded me of this thread.

I was in a golf tournament Saturday, a fund raiser for a friend's personal top cause. One of the other teams was made up of one of my longtime business customers and his friends. Over the last 20 years, we of course have known each other's political leanings. He is equally as strident in his views as I am in mine from the other side of the spectrum. Before the tournament, we got into a rather heated discussion and basically told the other they needed to google some things and learn the "truth". We attracted some concerned attention from others, most of whom knew nothing about either of us.

After the tournament was over, dinner was being served. It was funny to see the reaction of those who had been concerned earlier when my business friend and I gravitated to the same table to eat together. I am certain they wondered if the earlier episode would be repeated. We both were all laughs and fun now, and even when he jabbed and I jabbed back, everyone at our table laughed. My business friend is hard of hearing and I made some little comment like

HAP- "Brian has to wear headphones so he can hear the talking heads on the only news channel he watches"

He made a similar comment about

Brian- "HAP's cable service must have an internal block that prevents him from watching my channel"

Anyway, as we finished up dinner and the awards, and were departing, Brian shouts across the room to me,

"Hey HAP, can you get that bid together this week? I really want you to get going on the remodel"
It just goes to show, even though we each despise the political views of the other, we fully respect each other and are happy to do business together. Edited by HAPe4me
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If you're on FB, do you engage in political discussion/debate? As far as you know, have you had any friends unfriend you there over your politics? Have you ever gotten so annoyed with someone else's political views that you unfriended them or hid their posts?

On facebook I post whatever is on my mind. Since I enjoy politics a number of my posts are political. Over the last few years there have been a few 'thank yous' for bringing something to someones attention, and there been afew heated debates-- nothing too serious --but mostly just a few checked "likes" and a comment or two. I havent lost or unfriended anyone. I dont know if anyone unfriended me other than one congresswoman from Iowa who didnt seem to like anyone that disagreed with her.

I enjoy the debates and the differences of opinion which gives me something to think about. Personally Id rather get in a political discussion on FB than have to look at all those infernal pictures of terminally cute kittens

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On facebook I post whatever is on my mind. Since I enjoy politics a number of my posts are political. Over the last few years there have been a few 'thank yous' for bringing something to someones attention, and there been afew heated debates-- nothing too serious --but mostly just a few checked "likes" and a comment or two. I havent lost or unfriended anyone. I dont know if anyone unfriended me other than one congresswoman from Iowa who didnt seem to like anyone that disagreed with her.

I enjoy the debates and the differences of opinion which gives me something to think about. Personally Id rather get in a political discussion on FB than have to look at all those infernal pictures of terminally cute kittens

guess FB is all that counts and abandonment doesn't count if it's not FB :unsure::(

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I have fb friends with extreme positions on both sides. A couple on one side post a lot of stuff. I guess it stands to reason that most of my fb friends from the way days tend to the other extreme. I was getting a lot of stuff from that camp, equating their position as God's position, which gets old after awhile. I'm not going to unfried someone I disagree with, so I just clicked on the option that prevents their posts from showing up. If I'm curious what they're up to, I'll look them up-in the meantime I'm not barraged by the stuff all day.

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It is difficult when 99% of all my friends and family are of the opposite political view. I just get tired of hearing the same old lines from their "Fair and Balanced" (lol) news source. The biggest problem is when they talk about "THOSE PEOPLE" when I am one of those people.

I hope this isn't too offensive or political to the moderators.

Edited by OnionEater
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For sure it applies to some people from both sides, who just have to shout their views from the rooftops, or through the net. I'm trying to be very diplomatic here, but from where I sit, the venom, hate, lies, and extreme screaming seems to be largely from one camp. I'll leave it up to the reader to decide which camp. I know wherever one sits-it's the others that are doing it.

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For sure it applies to some people from both sides, who just have to shout their views from the rooftops, or through the net. I'm trying to be very diplomatic here, but from where I sit, the venom, hate, lies, and extreme screaming seems to be largely from one camp. I'll leave it up to the reader to decide which camp. I know wherever one sits-it's the others that are doing it.

I have family and friends on both sides of the aisle. One side emphasizes their views and priorities;

the other side has equal and justifiable concerns. Both sides are becoming more polarized.

Pick a topic, any topic......and those who are paying close attention to national and world affairs are engaged.

Whether its fiscal responsibility, nuclear threats, medicare insolvency, $16 Trillion USdebt, government land-grabs,

environmental issues, gun rights, energy independence, etc......how does it affect you and your livelihood?

When politics affects one's life and livelihood more and more on a daily basis, people respond accordingly.

Abortion issues, crime rates, tax rates, voter fraud, etc.....affect cities, budget meetings, council boards, neighborhoods.

Whoever controls the purse strings of government, controls and dictates aspects of life.

Catholics, Jews, Protestants, Muslims, etc.....all have issues of importance to them.

Same with legalism in religion (twi)......when it became too oppressive, people spoke out and many left.

In politics, only the uber-rich can leave the USA for another country. The dissenters speak out.

As the USA becomes more polarized, it becomes harder to remain neutral.

If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

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Definitly, lots of action on important topics, issues and ideas.

Biggest Summer Surprise for me is that I never thought crappy fast food fried chicken could ever get more popular than it already was!

What throws a wrench in discussion, more like a cloud of dust, is how easily people label others as "haters".

This isn't a political discussion going on here, of course (Thor forbid!) so consider this just for purposes of illustration:

I personally believe that the Bible, communicating a divine intent, does not support "same sex" orientations, relationships or marriages. I also don't believe that one's "orientation" - such a strange term to describe a basic part of our natures - is always or entirely a matter of choice.

(Simply because I didn't or don't choose mine - it's what I was born as. To try and change it by choice would be like choosing to put Canola oil in my coffee - I'm just not going to like the way that tastes. Someone else might. But a case can be made that while Canola oil isn't suppposed to be in coffee, it can be put in coffee if you like it, and only someone who does like it would........not a great example but bottom line - I don't choose my orientation and neither do many others, as I understand it). ]

So I don't think that the issues in and around that topic are served well by being polarized around the label "hater" if you hold a position that supports one or the other of any number of different positions on that topic.

But - to many I would be a "hater" if I participated in the discusson from an opposing view - just a big ol' hater.

Some people are, and have been and will be - I recognize that.

I don't feel like a hater, don't think I think like one, don't even dress like one - but yeah. Hater dude, just a big ol' hater. :o

So I do avoid public discussions of certain kinds of things because there's an element of people that try to smother the discussion and exchange of ideas with labels and constrictions and push everyone into a corner. Unfortunately they're often the loudes and gaudiest and get the most air time - I am one of what I think is a growing majority of people who simply aren't going to participate in that, are tired of all the effort and money that's wasted in counter productive methods and efforts, and is looking for leadership that will be intelligent, open, honest and consistent to our country's constitutional foundations that set direction and guidance for our personal and collective freedoms.

Labelling everyone who differs as a big ol' Hater isn't going to work and is only going to allow actual hate and aggression to be fostered and churn more IMO.

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