20-40-60 Etiquette: Do politics belong on friends' Facebook pages?

I don't agree with the political ideas that a friend posts on Facebook. Is it appropriate to share those opinions in social media?
BY HELEN FORD WALLACE, LILLIE-BETH BRINKMAN AND CALLIE GORDON Published: April 7, 2012
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QUESTION: I just unfriended a “friend” from my Facebook page. He offended me by posting about politics about which I totally disagree. Actually, he always talked about politics and I didn't appreciate his comments. They were very hard to ignore. So, what do you think about sharing political views on Facebook. Is it appropriate or not?

CALLIE'S ANSWER: I think it is annoying. I also think it is annoying when people post about what they are eating, or doing. I don't care that you just ate a hamburger from Johnnie's. Keep that and your views to yourself.

LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: If you disagree with social media friends' posts about politics or get tired of other things they're saying, it's OK to “unfriend” them as long as you're prepared for any outcome, such as hurt feelings on their part or a strained relationship in the real world. If they ever ask, you can tell them you got tired of seeing their political posts and leave it at that. I don't think you'll convince them that their opinions are offensive any more than they could convince you that yours are wrong. You can also choose to “hide” their posts from showing up in your Facebook feed. That way, you're still online friends but you don't have to see their opinions.

But a person's Facebook page is their own, and they can share what they want on it. I don't share many opinions on Facebook, but I have some friends who do, both those with whom I agree and disagree and some who have a lot more to say than I would like to see. It takes all kinds of people to make the world interesting, and at times I learn more about a friend and the issues they care about than I did before.

HELEN'S ANSWER: People post what they want you to know… how they feel about the day, their hurt feelings, their surgeries, and whatever is important to them at the time. If people were your friends before they got to Facebook, they probably knew your political leanings, and knew how you feel about theirs. But, “unfriending” and “hiding” their comments can get rid of the unwanted comments on your news stream.

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