4 Good Reasons Why Arguing Politics On Facebook Is Getting You Nowhere

by Dan C

Facebook has turned into a battleground. Political rhetoric rockets across my feed, colliding with explosive emotional outbursts each time I scroll through.

Rather than engaging in such needless conflict, I’ve decided to be a social media pacifist.

I’m like Gandhi on Facebook. I don’t post offensive statuses to start arguments with people, and I don’t comment on stupid articles or memes that people post to get a reaction.

I have no desire to fight about politics online under any circumstance, and neither should you.

It's not the proper outlet.

Let me just say something that, apparently, some people haven’t heard: Your opinion on Facebook doesn’t matter.

If you choose to emotionally blast out your political jabs online, I promise no one is listening.

There’s no magical government agency that surveys Facebook statuses for people’s input.

Unless you’re wealthy enough to hire lobbyists, form a super PAC or donate a huge check to a politician, your level of influence is close to nonexistent as an average individual American.

Express yourself in public, not from your computer chair. Join a protest if you want to be heard. People all over the world use Facebook to assemble such gatherings.

Even just conversing with a friend is better than an online skirmish.

Let’s not let text-based shouting matches replace sitting down at a coffee shop and having a healthy debate about current issues.

You're just another Internet troll.

Facebook is infested with trolls. Attention from half-truths and shallow talking points are what these people feed off of.

The troll diet consists of apples and oranges as they attempt to equate things like the rainbow flag to the confederate flag. These people don’t deserve your attention; they’re just antagonists.

Let’s take a look at the word antagonist. “Agon” in Greek refers to arena, or contest.

In the days of the Roman Empire, people would fight completely naked in the arena because it was fair; a richer fighter couldn’t buy nicer armor, for example.

Antagonists are against the arena. They don’t want rules. They just want to fight and prefer it to be unmediated.

That is exactly the platform Facebook provides. It’s a place where people feel comfortable making huge rhetorical leaps, without facing the challenge of having to back it up.

Do yourself a favor and just stay out of it.

You're contributing to the stupidity.

If people want to publicize to friends and family that they're an idiot, just let them.

I find Facebook trolls to be like a wounded bird on the freeway: You could try to pull over and help it get to a better place, but it’s probably going to run away from you, and you may even get hit by a car.

After all of that, you’ll regret bothering to help.

If someone is choosing to be ignorant, they’re also going to choose to ignore your offer to inform them. This is intellectual cowardice, and people do it willingly.

For example, some people simply choose to not understand global warming. They’d rather say they don’t “believe” in it, which presupposes that it’s something requiring belief for validity like the Tooth Fairy.

But if someone has decided not to “believe” in evidence as tangible as carbon dioxide’s capacity to trap heat, that is his or her right to bury his or her head in the sand.

Just pray this person isn't raising children.

It's for networking, not debating.

Political debate is not a function of Facebook.

There’s no fact checking or moderation; it has turned into a place where people come to blast opinions at each other and then walk away after pissing off their friends.

Instead, Facebook should be used to maintain your network, not destroy it. Coming online to burn bridges with people is a waste of your time.

For every person who unfriends you after a political outburst, there are probably five more who you’ve made realize you’re an idiot.

To put it simply, politics is about friends and enemies. Facebook is not.

It’s just about friends.