You know how it goes, you log onto Facebook and one of your friends — that one who always seems to be at it — has posted another 25-page political rant about his or her particular cause of the moment. You roll your eyes and scroll past.
Posting about politics on Facebook is seen as kind of a faux pas, by a large proportion of people, and there are even studies backing this up.
But is it the fact that someone’s posting about politics at all that people find annoying, or is it more the fact that often, when people post about politics, they’re doing so in an arrogant and partisan kind of a way? Would people be upset by a balanced and calm support post for Michele Reagan as Arizona Secretary of State, like they would be by a typical expletive-filled tirade?
It turns out there are actually some good reasons why talking about politics on Facebook may not be such a bad idea after all, if you do it right. Here are a few of those reasons.
Your political views are a part of who you are — talking about them helps you to honestly express yourself
Your political views aren’t just something that you carry around aimlessly — or at least, they probably aren’t. Instead, your political views a part of who you are, and will typically be a reflection, at least in part, of your personality and your interests and concerns, on a societal level.
This doesn’t mean that you should base your life around politics and become a gung-ho political ideologue. Far from it.
But it does mean that talking about your political ideas and leanings, openly, with help you to honestly express yourself generally.
Getting into political arguments can help you to improve your positions, if you’re open to the discussion
There’s a type of political conversation which just about no one likes — which is where one person makes an outrageous statement, and then refuses to debate it with anyone else, or to justify it, or to engage in any form of discussion at all.
If you share your political views openly — and you’re willing to hear and engage with other viewpoints — you can end up improving your own ideas quite dramatically through the dialogue.
At certain times it will become apparent that you had overlooked an important point, and may need to drop some of your ideas altogether. At other times, you’ll realize that you lack a certain area of insight, and may be motivated to do more thorough research to back up your position.
Open conversation about difficult topics helps to address those topics
Often, when an issue has reached the point of being a “political” cause, socially speaking, it’s because it’s perceived by many people to be important and urgent.
Open conversation about these issues can help to come up with solutions, and to address these topics. You may not be a politician, but even by addressing the issues in your own life and friend circle, you may be able to motivate positive resolutions and outcomes.