With election season heating up, I’ve noticed more and more political posts on sites like Facebook and Twitter. I’m all for being politically active and showing your support for a candidate, but some of it seems to be going too far. For instance, a friend of mine just posted a seemingly harmless status update about how she was going to spend her tax refund. Within minutes her Facebook friends began chiming in about how she shouldn’t have had to pay so much in taxes in the first place. Suddenly her post about a shopping spree turned into an attack on the government. She ended up deleting the post entirely.
Another friend has a son who just finished his medical residency. He wrote something about heading home after a long day at the hospital, and was shocked to see a couple of his Facebook friends using that comment to stir up a debate on “Obamacare.” Because he was worried his employers and colleagues would assume that he shared those opinions, he too deleted the post.
Whatever your political beliefs, it’s inappropriate to hijack someone’s page by airing your own views and turning a harmless comment into fuel for a debate. It’s not fair to that person, and it can make you seem like a zealot. If you want to post political comments on your own page, that’s your right, but be aware that friends may not be comfortable with being bombarded with more propaganda.
Personally, I think it’s best to avoid conversations about controversial topics like politics and religion online. You never know who could be viewing your page, especially since some employers are now asking their employees for their online details. It’s one thing to share an article, but if you’re in constant attack dog mode, you’re no doubt rubbing people the wrong way.