Dear Anyone Who Has Ever Posted Anything Political On Social Media,
It’s election season! Time to have a responsible, genuine and educated debate about the direction of our country. Just kidding! You only need to turn on the news for 4 seconds to realize it’s a complete bloodbath out there. It’s difficult to tell difference between the presidential election and an episode of the Real Housewives of New Jersey.
We like to believe voters on all sides are at least trying. We like to think there are good people who want to evaluate each candidate based on their views, credibility and character. We like to believe that our friends and family, out of all people, are taking this process seriously. Then we log in to our social media.
From crazy great aunts to lost high school friends, everyone has decided to chime in. Even though you never asked, you get bombarded with political opinions from even your most distant relationships. Remember that one time you drunkenly friended the dude who works at the hot dog stand next door? Well good fucking luck. For the next 13 months you are going to hear about his views on gun control, marijuana legalization, and filibuster reform. How is that going to turn out, you ask? Hint: he can’t even spell ‘filibuster’.
The crazy part is that we probably agree with a lot of shit these people are saying. We just completely, wholeheartedly disagree with the means by which they are saying it. I’m willing to bet that you have never once gone to your Facebook feed, looked at a friend’s political post and then considered changing your opinion. That’s because we don’t post political thoughts on Facebook to create dialogue. We post them for attention and confirmation. 140 characteristics on Twitter is not discussion, it’s banter. It’s a sound bite. We like to blame politicians for pandering and being narrow-minded; then we go and mimic them on social media. Are we any better?
Our democracy relies on creative ideas from the public. We need more people to get involved and to voice their personal views while simultaneously growing from other’s opinions. What we don’t need is people posting their bigoted, un-researched regurgitation of ultra-extreme late-night radio host talking points. Sure, I know you have a first amendment God-given right to say whatever you’d like. I also know we have the right to block, unfollow and unfriend you. I, unfortunately, have had to do this to many of my closest friends.
To them, and to anyone else who chooses to chime in this election cycle on social media, I say this: Behind the screen of your phone, tablet and laptop you claim to be a political expert. Have you ever attended a town hall? Have you ever called your congressman? Have you been to Iraq? Have you been to the border? Have you ever even voted? When our most used form of political discourse is social media posts we are doing a huge disservice to ourselves, our country and the world.
We can no longer tolerate your 7th grade understanding of issues you have no idea about. We follow you on social media because we enjoy seeing photos of you and your friends drinking. We enjoy hearing about your life in a new city. We want to try that new recipe. We want to stay in touch and see pictures of your children, your home, and your wedding. Social media is an amazing tool that should be used to connect us. It should not be used to break us apart.
If you disagree and choose to partake in political social media posts this election season, do yourself a favor and block us now.
99% of your friends