3 Reasons to Keep Social Media a Politics-Free Zone

November 1, 2017 2:16 pm

Image via Public Domain Pictures

Social media allows you to share any thought, concern, or rant you could possibly imagine with the world at large. Or at the very least, with all of your friends, family, and potential employers.

But while this freedom can feel intoxicating, there are some good reasons why you should keep your social media posts to more innocuous and mundane topics, like the importance of drone qualifications, or pictures of cats doing funny things.

Of all the personal and sensitive topics that you shouldn’t discuss on social media, politics takes the number one spot.

Here are some reasons why you’d be best off never making a political post on social media at all.

Social media is just detached enough from day-to-day life that people lose emotional control

In day-to-day life most people maintain basic manners in most of their face to face discussions. Sure, if you get into a heated discussion with someone over the dinner table, things can get tense. It’s unlikely that you’ll both throw all sense of respect out of the window and start hurling insults and threats at each other, though.

Social media creates an interesting psychological buffer between the “real world” and the conversation being had, just enough so that all sense of manners and mutual respect can easily fly out of the window.

Political arguments on social media can easily become immensely mean and vindictive. That’s not the right context for having a productive debate about anything.

No one changes their mind over big issues due to Facebook disagreements

Most people don’t tend to change their minds half as easily as some would like. In fact, most people in most situations will be all but immune to changing their minds, especially if they feel that they’re being pushed to do so by a snarky post in the internet.

Changing opinions tend to be the result of repeated reflection, introspection, and consideration over a substantial period of time. Perception shifts of this sort always happen from within, and not due to external pressure.

You should realise that even though using your social media platforms as a political blog may feel cathartic, that’s likely the only positive effect it’s going to have.

You may feel like you’re making an impact but you’re more likely getting caught in an echo chamber

When you make a habit of throwing up political essays and posts on your social media, you might start to take any “likes” or comments you get as positive reinforcement that you’re spreading your message and that people are responding well to it.

What’s far more likely is that you’re simply in the process of sectioning off your social media following into different camps. Those who disagree with you will hide your posts, unfollow, delete you, argue, or at the very least just ignore you and feel irritated by your comments. Those who agree with you will like your posts and give you a false sense of universal support.

Essentially the whole exercise ends up with ideologically isolated groups of people patting each other on the back for no reason other than that they all agree on a sensitive issue.

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