With less than a month left until the 2016 presidential election, social media has become, like, the worst kind of place to go. It’s so awkward because usually people have to pry our phones out of our cold, dead fingers, but with this super controversial election cycle, Facebook is like hell on earth.
Because let’s be real. While we totally love being all politically active and up on our current events, both sides of the aisle are spewing hateful vitriol and that kind of stuff just isn’t our jam. We all want to be informed, but it’s got to be in a respectful, judgement-free manner, and Facebook right now is just… not.
So unless we can get a more puppies, less politics hate vibe going on social media, here are our suggestions to you to keep the good karma flowing:
Learn to tell the difference between being offensive and being disagreeable.
It’s really easy for us to get riled up when we don’t agree with someone. Even when you’re just in a friendly argument, it can be easy to take offense when someone doesn’t agree with us. But does that mean we should? Probs no, bro.
Before getting upset at a Facebook post, it’s really important to ask yourself if you’re upset because the person is a jerk, or because you simply don’t agree with them. If it’s the latter, that’s actually a good thing! It’s super critical to our growth as voters to interact with people we don’t agree with and listen to their ideas with an open mind. If you can’t change your mind, how do you know you have one?
But we also know that people really have been jerks this election season. If something is truly hateful or close-minded, you’re totally in your rights to get upset about it. Take a breath and think about why you’re upset, and then figure out how you’re going to deal with it.
Never. Stop. Scrolling.
When people start throwing around the haterade all over your social feed, remember that they aren’t force feeding it to you. You always have the option to keep scrolling past and not even bat an eye at their potentially problematic post. This tactic is definitely best suited for kinda sorta maybe awkward posts that make you a little squirmy, but overall aren’t anything to get in a huge fight about. Can’t cry over spilled milk, right?
Don’t get us wrong. We totally understand the amount of patience and strength this will take, but we completely believe in you. You are a strong, powerful lady who knows how to keep calm and Facebook on. We suggest following up this patient act with videos of zoo animals to calm you down.
When in doubt, block them out.
Sometimes you won’t be able to just scroll past a seriously obnoxious post. The crappy thing about this election is that people aren’t just disagreeing and going a little overboard – people are getting straight up offensive and it’s kind of hard to take.
If something is truly upsetting for you, we definitely suggest blocking or unfriending the poster on social media. Facebook and Twitter are supposed to be things you enjoy, so you should absolutely make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people who make you feel good.
To respond, or not to respond? That is the question.
When you see a post that’s just totally off base or like, completely inaccurate, it can be pretty hard not to lose your mind in the comments section. And like, yay! Free speech! But also, oops we just started a Facebook war. What’s a girl to do?
Try asking yourself a few things: Does this person seem open to a friendly, open-minded debate? Are you? And if you’re disputing a cold, solid fact, can you back yourself up? If the answer to any of these is no, then you might want to avoid setting that poster straight.
You should also bear in mind that you’re on a public forum. No matter how many privacy settings you have hooked up on your social channels, your post is likely to be seen by someone you weren’t exactly expecting. Consider if this is an opinion you want plastered all over your (and the original poster’s) Facebook or Twitter before hitting send.
If you really want to engage, we suggest sliding into the poster’s DMs or settling the dispute in person. It’s so much easier to convey what you really mean in a personal, one-on-one conversation, and definitely a safer bet to keep it all private.
Take a social media break.
If all else fails, maybe just quit social media for the rest of the month. We know you’re going to really miss all of your Tasty videos and tagging your friends in memes, but if this stuff truly gets to you, it’s probably best that you take a break. Besides, social media cleanses can be totally therapeutic and help with things besides a political headache.
So… you’re that person.
We’re sure you’re wonderful, we really are, but there’s a decent chance that someone reading this article is, well… that person. The one we’ve been complaining about all article. While we’re totally about your enthusiasm and love for politics, you might want to calm down on the Facebook tirades. I mean, that’s pretty good social media practice in general, right?
Before hitting post, try asking yourself this: if you were in a real, live room with every single person you’ve ever known, would you scream this? Would you be chill with saying this face-to-face with all of your acquaintances? No? Then maybe it’s best to leave it alone.