The upcoming elections have opened a floodgate for turning difference of opinions into full out social media wars and sometimes loss of friendships. In a day and age when nearly two-thirds of American adults (65%) use social networking sites, it's almost impossible to ignore the question of how social media really affects political deliberation, dating and even people's level of stress due to the upcoming presidential elections.
Political memes and GIFs overwhelm Facebook news feeds, whether someone is a Democrat, Republican or anything in between. We can't all agree on everything, that much is certain. But when a friend goes out of their way to inform their social media followers of their political preferences with hate or disrespect towards the opposing view or candidate, how do you respond in a calm and reasonable manner?
Well for one, keep it civil. It's okay to share your opinion about a certain political topic or candidate but don't be mean or degrading towards another group. Fact-check before you post. Make sure your posts are well informed or funny but not malicious. Just because we are entitled to our opinions doesn't mean we are entitled to our own made-up facts.
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And in regards to responding to others' "tasteless" posts, I simply wouldn't. Keep scrolling. There's no need to insert your personal opinion into every political complaint. Sometimes the best answer is no answer. If a person makes a habit of such posts, simply unfollow until the end of Election Day. Ignoring doesn't get easier than that.
Another tip you might want to consider is joining a closed Facebook group dedicated solely to whatever your political point of view may be. Here you can rant and rave all you want with people that believe in the same things you do.
But beware. Don't assume your posts are private because the Internet can be a vicious place where every word you say, can and will be held against you.
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If Facebook isn't your thing, drop it altogether and make the switch over to Twitter, which is more news based nowadays. The marvelous thing about Twitter is you select who you follow so if you don't like someone's opinion, chances are you won't even see them. This is good and bad since we all want to keep an open mind to different opinions.
The bottom-line; it might be hard to keep your sanity during election season.