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SOUND OFF: How Political Should You Get With Facebook Friends?

As the Nov. 6 election nears, political discussion is getting heated. How much do you share of your political opinions with your Facebook friends?

Maybe you're a die-hard Democrat, and you think Joe Biden wiped the floor with Paul Ryan in the vice presidential debate Thursday.

Or maybe you're a staunch Republican, you believe Paul Ryan was on top of his game.

Do you share these opinions with your Facebook friends?

Maybe you shouldn't, suggests a recent article on Boston.com. People of all political leanings told the Globe they're learning too much about their friends' and relatives' attitudes.

The article is informed by data from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

The study found that 18 percent of Facebook users have blocked, unfriended, or hidden a friend because of political differences or a distaste for the sheer volume of the friends’ political posts.

Where do you stand on sharing your political or personal beliefs on Facebook? Have you argued with a friend because of this? How much is too much? Or, do you think that all political debate is healthy? Tell us in the comments.

Danielle Horn October 12, 2012 at 06:24 PM
I'll start. I don't get into politics at all on Facebook. I'm all for healthy debate, but when you have hundreds of Facebook "friends," you're bound to offend someone, and it can devolve pretty quickly. I've seen some nasty debates/attacks on Facebook, and while I admittedly watch them like a train wreck, I refuse to participate. And, when I'm getting annoyed by that one person who incessantly posts links to anything on the far left OR the far right, I simply add them to my "don't show in newsfeed" list. :-)
Ben Jackson October 12, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Well, I'm all in. My Patch blog is mostly politics. I am a political animal, and people who are my real-life friends have to put up with that, too. Frankly, I can't stand motivational pictures with motivational sayings, and I'm not too interested in many of the hobbies of my friends - but it's no big deal to skip over what does not interest me. Social media is by design a big, messy bunch of different interests, thrown together.
Dave Lenane October 12, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Any reasonable political discussion should be done face to face and in a reasonable manner. It's why the arguments made on Patch don't consume me. Who cares? The elections will end, but my true friends....(and please don't tell me all your Facebook friends are your true friends...) will always be my friends.
Charlene Arsenault October 12, 2012 at 08:09 PM
I do get involved sometimes, regrettably. I try to fight my impulses, but someone or something always triggers it. And I ALWAYS regret it. It never gets me anywhere. And regarding my job, I never ever let it interfere or bias me in any way.
Ed Bertorelli October 12, 2012 at 08:44 PM
There are certain advantages to having a'' few years on you''- take a look at Joe Biden. Yes a joke folks ...humor can help deliver messages in a more complete way...I sense a lot of zealots in blogging and that's not necessarily a good or bad thing but it certainly is humorless...and on another point instant communication is not by definition better communication...
Mary MacDonald (Editor) October 12, 2012 at 09:26 PM
I don't mind reading the political posts. One of my friends said she had contributed $8 to the Obama campaign, and told him to go buy some Red Bull with it. ... I like to see what everyone's thinking, and I can appreciate humor. I don't want to post on it, though. I had one argument break out, and it was too much.
Dan B. October 13, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Oh, here on Patch we've learned it's not just politics where needlessly long arguments break out!!
Susan Manning October 13, 2012 at 04:01 AM
I just had this issue today with a friend on FB. I almost didn't comment, but I finally did. I was then berated, told my reasoning for my political choice made me "selfish." I almost "hid" said friend, then I realized I chose to comment, so I had to take the heat. But I know my friends range on the spectrum from extreme liberal to extreme conservative, so I just skip the updates I don't want to see. Usually, I get a good laugh from them!
Kate October 13, 2012 at 01:56 PM
I feel like we've become a society that cares too much if we offend someone with our own opinions and views. If I post my political views on facebook and you don't like it, whether you're a "friend" or not, if you "unfriend" me for it, then obliviously we weren't real friends to begin with. This is not 1950 anymore, and in this day and age politics encompasses our entire lives, whether or not everyone likes it or realizes it. Our laws, public schools, roads, even our homes are some part of politics. And I’d rather have everyone know where I stand politically and to know where you stand so we can come together to have an adult discussion on why we both believe what we do. If we can try to focus on the truth and what views we have in common, and come to a compromise on what we don’t, maybe our country wouldn’t be so divided.
James Feudo October 13, 2012 at 07:40 PM
I teach classes in social media and this topic comes up a lot. My answer (since most of the people that take my classes are business owners) is to avoid the topic unless you can be dimplomatic. There's a difference between posting "I support candidate X" and "anyone who supports candidate Y is a moron." People are very passionate about their politics today so you don't want to offend a potential client or employer - and with some employers asking for access to FB accounts, it's an extra concern. I stopped posting political stuff a while ago because I simply hated seeing two people that were friends of mine, but not friends with each other, start tearing each other apart via comments on my post. However, I respect people like Ben & Dave for having the guts to post on here (and use their real names) with their beliefs. Donald Trump & Warren Buffet are both successful and they don't hide their beliefs either. So I guess it's all how you do it :)
Miguel October 13, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Right on! Kate.
Karen Adamson October 14, 2012 at 03:07 AM
I use facebook mainly to keep in touch with friends who are out of state through posts and pictures, kind of like being there, reach out and touch someone, as the phone commercials used to say. We don't get into anything political. They have no clue who I am talking about here and I have no clue who they are talking about there.
Karen Adamson October 14, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Yes, and another thing is you find that if someone doesn't like something, they end up trashing a person's page. I've seen that happen to some, but the problem is what they put up can be provocative. That opens it up. What people do is end up removing so called "friends".
Macy Kouame October 25, 2012 at 05:18 PM
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Macy Kouame October 25, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Hello Dear, My name is Miss Macy, and I'm interested in knowing you and being friendly with you this is my private email address. (macykouame200@yahoo.com) I would like you to contact me back so that you know me better and I send my photos to you. Please, distance dose not matter in this afair. And i shall be very greatfull if i see your mail ok. Please contact me direct to my Email ok. Thanks and remain bless. YOURS MACY. (macykouame200@yahoo.com) ___$♥$♥$♥$♥______$♥$♥$♥$♥$ _$♥________$♥__♥$.___I_____♥$ ♥$__(▒)(▒)___$♥$.____________$♥ $♥_(▒)()(▒)_♥*_____LOVE______♥$ ♥$__(▒)(▒)______♥___________$♥ _$♥_______(▒)(▒)____YOU____♥$ ___♥$____(▒)()(▒)__________$♥ ______$♥__(▒)(▒)________♥$ ________♥$_________$♥ ___________$♥___♥$ _____________♥$♥ Please contact me Direct to my Email ID (macykouame200@yahoo.com)

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