Facebook political posts making you crazy? You’re not alone. It’s a fact. Being a Presidential election year with all the political chatter, social media outlets see a tremendous uptick in political posts on all the social media sites. But why? It’s the social debate of the year and you need to get your mind in shape because the elections are on their way and the posts are getting heavier.
Most people don’t know that Facebook is offering new tools for political candidates, and your personal account could be used in the process. For the first time, Facebook is allowing campaigns to track users’ political comments and likes to create a master list of target voters and potential donors. Take a look at the PBS piece:
So here are 6 reasons people post political comments on social media.
Why We Post Political Material Online
According to Aaron Smith, a director at the Pew Research Center, nearly 40% of us “like” or post about political issues on social media sites and that 65 percent of Americans now use them, up from 25% at the start of the Obama presidency in 2009.
#6. People feel empowered on the internet.
You know who they are. They’re the people that typically wouldn’t bring up politics in public but feel empowered to say anything and everything on the internet. Who has friends that they know would NEVER talk politics in public but are the first ones to post something on the internet?
One of the best social sayings about parties was to “never talk about two things – Politics and Religion”. Funny how it’s become socially acceptable to post about politics, but no one is posting about religion (probably out of political correctness and hurting someone’s feelings).
#5. Politicians started it.
Politicians were the ones that wrecked it for everyone! Well not so fast. There had to be someone that told them how to do it right? So who was the first Presidential candidate to post on FB? Check out the story of how Chris Hughes, at 25 years old, helped create two of the most successful startups in modern history, Facebook and the Barack Obama campaign. Nonetheless – there are all kinds of apps and playbooks to engage social media to politicians who need to be “liked”. And they need to be liked.
#4 Think they’re going to change someone’s mind.
One FB’er was wondering if his friend was getting paid to share posts from Occupy Democrats because they were being shared on his timeline everyday. When confronted, the poster commented “If I can change just one person’s mind to vote my way….it’s worth it.” Well, statistics are showing that they are changing minds, but they’re changing them in a way where their friends are actually “unfollowing” and “unfriending”, causing the opposite effect.
One good thing that has come out of politics on social media are those snarky Somee Cards.
#3 Everyone has their two cents.
Here’s the real trap and many people get “baited” into the discussion. Then they get caught up, get a little crazy and finally SNAP. That’s when you post something stupid. Whenever a person’s beliefs get challenged, online or in-person, while your first response is to say nothing, after a bunch of posts, you just feel you have to respond….then you’re hooked. Statistics show that political posts are the #1 reason for people unfriending other people on FB. So show some discipline and fight the urge.
#2 Those “Shares” you share are Often Incorrect
That’s right. The internet can be wrong. And it only takes a few wrongs to ruin your reputation where people will never believe what the hell you’re talking about…politics and everything else. So be careful what you share. It might just be bullcrap!
#1 People want to be liked and they think Political Posts will validate themselves.
Now we’re on the psychiatric couch. Studies have shown that people post to facebook because they get instant validation of themselves. If you “like my post then you must like me” is what’s been reported. Did you know that your subconscious is really driving you to post more on social media. Experts say the test comes when someone cuts cold turkey and tries not to post for a month. Seriously, do it with your kids and you’ll see the difference (if you can)
Help your friends before it’s too late!
Bottom line – if you need to paste this article into your Social Media page just to give someone a hint, here’s the bitly version:
USA Today has a Few Tips
- Keep your political posts to facts and figures and funny (not mean) things. Know what you’re posting about and keep it civil.
- When you comment on a friend’s post, again, keep to the facts, avoid rants and don’t make it personal – ever. “The only reason I would delete someone is if they trolled my posts with negative opinions,” said one poster on my Facebook wall in response to this question.
- If a friend’s Facebook posts are abhorrent to you, “unfollow” them until Election Day 2016. That way their posts and memes won’t be visible to you. Or, if they really go too far, “unfriend” or “block” them. (This option is not recommended for family members with whom you may be breaking bread or sharing turkey in a few weeks’ time.)
- Join a closed Facebook group dedicated to your political point of view and rant all you want with those like-minded individuals. But don’t think that just because it’s closed, your posts will be private; they won’t be.
- Join Twitter and leave Facebook behind for now. You can “follow” those who believe what you do and they can reciprocate. In that way, Twitter is very incestuous, but keeping it all in the family can sometimes be a good thing.