What I Learned from Two Weeks of being Political on Facebook

Written by Mark McElroy

For two weeks, I joined the fray on Facebook, posting nothing but political content. Here’s what I learned.

On Facebook, You’re Preaching to the Choir

When people see posts they agree with, they like them and share them. When people see posts they don’t agree with, they mute or unfriend the poster. Since Facebook tends to show you more of what you like and less of what you don’t like, Facebook will never keep you informed; instead, it will simply show you more of what you already agree with.

Conservatives and Progressives can be Equally Smarmy

Many conservatives share an endless stream of paranoid, half-true, “Democrats are Crybabies,” gun-totin’, racist, “All lives matter when they’re babies, but don’t matter once they grow up to be swarthy adults” nonsense. Many progressives share an endless stream of paranoid, half-true, “Republicans are Fascists,” self-righteous, intolerant, “Choice matters until you choose a President I don’t like,” nonsense. Very few on either side rise above this, so very few have much to share that’s worth our time and attention.

Reading Facebook Makes You Feel Worse

Whatever their political inclinations, I see a lot of people who come away from Facebook feeling angry, upset, and full of rage. What began as a place to share the things that matter most with the people you value most has become an echo chamber for unhealthy emotions. I’m done with it. I hope you’ll join me on Instagram or at MadeByMark.com.

America is in Trouble

As long as we’re caught up in Left/Right, Conseravative/Liberal, “Stupid Republicans/Whiny Democrats” thinking, we’re doomed. What’s going on with Mr. Trump and his inner circle has nothing to do with the battle between genuinely conservative or progressive values, and everything to do with keep us all so busy fighting each other that we can’t see or unite against very real threats to our country and its freedoms.

What You Can Do

Use Facebook to connect with friends and family, but for the sake of all that’s good and holy, stop using it to get your news.

Leave any and all of Facebook’s political groups. Resist the urge to share political cartoons and back-slapping huk-yuk-yuk articles about how stupid the other side is — and mute or unfriend everyone who shares even one, even if you agree with it.

Switch to Instagram and get back to sharing photos you took of the people, places, and events you love.

Understand that if you spend any time on Fox News, The Daily Caller, and Brietbart, OR The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, and Slate, you are willfully disconnecting yourself from reality.

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