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What is the cost of talking politics on social media?

What is the cost of talking politics on social media?

What is the cost of talking politics on social media?When I started using Twitter and Facebook, I really enjoyed the opportunity to grow my network and get to know so many people. I still enjoy some of that but now that everyone seems to be talking politics, I am turned off and a bit depressed.

It doesn’t matter what side a person is on, it seems like people throw insults, call people dumb, and much worse every day.  My solution though, I just stay away from social media or hide posts I don’t want to see. It does mean that some of the people and topics that I used to enjoy, I won’t see any more. That makes me sad.

How talking politics differs on social media

It may seem fun to be talking politics on social media. It gives you the opportunity to be clever, share information, you may even think you are helping someone. What happened to a world in which we can disagree without it being hateful?

Much of the political content posted isn’t even real. Information sites are easy to fake and are more for creating advertising or even phishing attacks than providing real value. Unfortunately, most people don’t fact check and then go on to share outright lies, partial truths, or just meanness.

What are the consequences?

  1. You don’t know who is reading and maybe you don’t care. Everyday people who insist on talking and sharing politics are insulting friends, coworkers, customers, and employers.
  2. Comments are even worse since people seem to go out of their way to insult people in the comments.
  3. People don’t realize how their comments, shares, and status updates are affecting relationships.
  4. Many people who are bothered will never tell you that it bothers them, nor will they post opposing views because they don’t want to offend.

Why do people think they can behalf differently on social media than in public?

Most of the people posting and sharing things combined with snarky comments wouldn’t say any of those things in public. People feel free to blast their opinions online but those same people wouldn’t do it in person. Yes, you can hide posts or even unfriend people or leave social media completely and perhaps this is the solution. Or perhaps people could be more thoughtful and kind to one another.

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Image courtesy of Kate Ter Haar

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