I’ve been thinking about politics and social media quite a bit lately. Some people don’t appear to mind mixing the two, but for most others, it seems like it’s a big no-no. At least once a day, I see a friend lament about too many Facebook political posts. Or another friend makes a well-informed, valid point, followed by and apology for getting political. I understand. I have done it too.
And I know many of you don’t want to see it from others, or go there yourself. I get it.
Personally, I don’t mind political posts. I find it interesting and enjoy reading other points of view. Yes, even if their views are different than mine. But then again, I’ve never been one to shy away from a spirited political discussion. I find our political process engaging, and frustrating, and fascinating. I’m so thankful to live in a country where it is all possible.
However, not all political posts are good and/or welcome. Here, I would like to offer up a few suggestions for better mixing of politics and social media – not rules, but rather guidelines for making your politic posts go down a bit more smoothly.
First and foremost, if you get the majority of your news from only one source and just spout off talking points from that one source, it’s probably best to keep it to yourself. Even I know the Fox News talking points – it’s not fair, and it’s not balanced, so don’t kid yourself. Neither is MSNBC by the way, so I’m not just picking on the far-right. That’s why I get all my news from the ridiculously smart and talented Jon Stewart. Kidding…well kind of. I do watch the Daily Show, well daily, but I also get news and information from the paper, articles, books, internet sources, and yes, occasionally cable news networks.
Second, if you have expertise/passion/experience in a particular topic or issue, share it. None of us have time (or if we do, take the time) to research every angle of a political point of view or do homework on every one of the propositions. So for me, I like links to articles my friends have found, or their opinions about something that they have expertise in. As a matter of fact, I’ll go one step further – if you have experience and expertise on a particular topic, I think you should feel some sense of obligation to share with others so that they can make more informed decisions at the polls.
But please, if you have not done any research or don’t have any experience aside from one segment to saw on the news, maybe just pass instead of hit “share”.
Third, keep it positive, or funny, or preferably both. A bunch of “he’s a socialist”, “he’s an idiot” or “let’s just go start bombing people” posts really do nothing…for anyone. And also, they make you look like kind of a jerk.
And finally, proper grammar and punctuation go a long, long way. A quick double check before hitting “share” makes the world a better place.
Onward friends, until November…