A look at the pitfalls of political Facebook

Facebook has become a massive part of politics in the modern era and it has been widely recognised as one of the key influencers in the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election, the Brexit vote and the recent British General Election.

There are plenty of critics who believe that it is a largely unregulated form of campaigning for political parties to make the most of but more than this, it’s become a battle ground for the average Facebook user where one wrong like or comment on somebody’s political status update could very well see you upset one of your Facebook friends, without ever meaning too.

If your Facebook feed has been anything like ours in the past 12 months or so, it’s probably been filled with a deluge of political rants, memes, and most of all arguments between friends, family and maybe even friends of your Facebook friends in the comments of countless status updates.

Whether you participate in these posts or not, just seeing them could have proven to be wearing for you and maybe even stressful at times for the people who take much more of an interest in politics than your average member of the public.

Day in, day out everybody see’s a lot of things that they disagree with on social media and for a lot of people it’s hard to keep your personal beliefs to yourself when you see things online, particularly in the social media sphere, that you take issue with.

When it comes to the specific subject of politics on Facebook, it’s something that has grown massively in recent years, on the back of some key mainstream campaigns, and it’s a topic that shows no signs of slowing down.

The typical Facebook user has an array of different people on their Facebook profile; this includes friends, family members, colleagues, clients and maybe even that couple you met on holiday whose friend request you accepted, even though you never had any intention of ever seeing or meeting up with them ever again. 

When you take into account the massive amount of friend’s that people now have on Facebook, there’s always going to be a massive mixture when it comes to which side of the political fence people sit on.

So keeping this in mind, we thought it would be handy to tell you why all things political should be kept off Facebook and help make sure you don’t upset any family members when the next general election or referendum rolls back into town.

You could lose a friend

Friends who want to talk about politics should be able to discuss political issues calmly and diplomatically in person, it’s always hard to get your point across on Facebook. It’s also clever to keep in mind that there’s plenty of people who hide behind their computers and post things they would never say face to face – this is what the Internet like to call keyboard warriors.

So with that in mind, keep your debates off Facebook, have them in person where you’ll get a much better understanding of each other in an honest and open environment.

You could lose a client

If there’s a client of yours on your Facebook feed that feels very strongly about a political issue and you were to go on Facebook and post something totally derogatory or counter what they believe, it could potentially have a knock on effect where they might take a different view of you personally and professionally. This could then have a massive knock on effect where they decide to take their business somewhere else and imagine having to explain that one to the boss. You should want your clients to like you, so keep in mind that people do business with people they know, like and trust. 

It’s a massive waste of time 

When it all boils down, chances are you’re not going to change someone’s political beliefs on Facebook. You can debate and debate, but you’re just wasting your time and energy bashing your keyboard in reply to their comments. People are different and believe different things. It’s better off if you just accept it, agree to disagree and move on. Life’s too short and people go on Facebook for some rest bite and to watch funny videos – not a slanging match about who’s worse of Corbyn or May.

It’s the wrong platform

If you’re spending time arguing over political issues online, go to a political blog or a news site to air your views. Don’t ruin everyone’s experience on Facebook with your politically charged rants. You may have a specific list of friends on Facebook that you only share political information with, but you never know what someone else might share or the impression you could be leaving on people you have as a friend.

There’s enough politics in the media 

The main reason people use Facebook is to laugh, have fun and catch up with friends and family they might not have seen in a while. People don’t want to get worked up or stressed out over something that they disagree with. There’s enough political coverage in the mainstream media, even if it’s #FakeNews or not, you can’t move these days for political coverage in many different strands of the media.

These are just a few pointers to help you navigate through the minefield of politics that Facebook has become. If you can take just one of these on board or pass one on to that friend you have on Facebook who’s relentless for sharing the latest mishap from Donald Trump or the latest stats which keep trying to make Brexit out to be all sunshine and rainbows. Keep them in mind and maybe just leave the politics to the pundits instead of the Facebook feed.


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