Sophomore Sound-off: Social networks platform for political views

With the presidential election right around the corner, it’s no secret that both candidates are doing everything in their power to get people talking — especially by stirring up controversy. Between Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites, people are posting their opinions on the matter and making comments on others’ posts left and right. Some people can be harsh when it comes to defending their opinions and others can even go as far as threatening to delete their Facebook friends who post opinions that oppose their own. Yet the question is: How far is too far?
With this year being a presidential election year, it’s quite obvious that people are going to discuss what they like and what they don’t like about the candidates. Some people even feel the need to voice their opinions on their Facebook profiles. Facebook is a place to talk to friends and share what you’re doing with others. It’s not right to bash anyone online about anything — that includes political views. If you don’t agree with them, arguing isn’t going to solve the problem.
According to the Yahoo article “Would You Unfriend Someone on Facebook Over Their Political Views?” by Jeannette Kaplun, discussions about political views and opinions on Facebook are great; however, the way people respond can become an issue.
I believe Kaplun is right. Sharing thoughts and opinions on Facebook sparks good conversation; it is what it’s used for. If you can sit on the site every day and read countless statuses about people complaining about the weather or how they’re feeling, you can handle a political status or two. More importantly, if you don’t agree with someone on Facebook, you don’t always have to voice it or start an argument. There’s a simple way to handle such a status: continue scrolling and ignore the post.
I believe that people feel the need to start confrontation because they feel insecure about their own opinions. However, what’s the point of an opinion if no one disagrees with you? Not listening to what someone else has to say about a matter, or even completely deleting him or her from Facebook makes you look very close-minded. The candidates in the election have different beliefs and opinions on a number of matters, but are open-minded toward the other candidates during debates. People listen to what the candidates’ thoughts and opinions are without an issue, so what makes a friend, family member or colleague any different?
“Unfriending” someone over his or her political beliefs is completely ridiculous. If you think of it in real-life terms, it would mean completely ignoring that person’s existence simply because you don’t want to hear what they have to say. You would be hurt if someone did that to you and it’s not right to do it to someone else.
I’ll admit that it’s annoying to see constant statuses bashing Obama and Romney, but whether you agree with them or not, they’re easy to ignore. It’s all about how you conduct yourself online, and unfriending someone is not the way to do it.

-Danielle Gittleman
Sophomore journalism major

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One Comment

  1. Danielle, thanks so much for reading my post and quoting me. You make a great point regarding people’s insecurities. In many ways, I am simply looking forward to the election being over so people can stop campaigning on Facebook. Good luck with your studies!

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