Monday, August 1, 2011

Facebook comments: A struggle over words

I've been struggling with comments recently.

Not here. Primarily on Facebook — my personal account.

This account is a mixture of family, friends, writing friends and old acquaintances. I post things about family, random thoughts and photos. Typical stuff.

A couple weeks ago, I posted a status update from my Twitter account. Political in nature — it was something I wanted to say.

The Tweet/Status update:
I'm sorry #Bachmann suffers from migraines. I don't think that disqualifies her from the White House. There are probably other reasons
As I wrote this blog post, there were 43 comments in response to the Facebook status update. This doesn't include one I deleted. I had never done that until this incident. Of those comments, 40 included the argument between two people. Three of those 40 were from me saying things like "moderation is all I ask."

I should know better. Politics can be a polarizing topic, especially now. But, I was so tired that day from all the reports about whether a female candidate could be president due to debilitating migraines. I shared my thoughts and tried to be nice to the candidate.

My two Facebook friends posted their feelings on the topic, then on another topic and another topic. You get the picture. If you Facebook, you know that everyone who bothered to comment once got notices every time these two posted.

I dreaded checking my email.

I wondered if I should delete the whole feed, because I don't agree with plenty of things either of them had to say.

I decided to leave it — minus the one comment I deleted.

My conservative friend and I disagree on a lot.

My liberal friend and I disagree on a lot.

While I may agree to disagree with them, they cannot do that amongst themselves. They just post and post some more. You think it's bad in Washington, D.C., you should see these two on Facebook. They randomly cross paths one of my status updates.

I enjoy keeping up-to-date on political issues, because I believe decisions made in D.C. impact our lives. Some decisions make me happy and others not so much.

I want to be able to comment on my personal Facebook page. I'm not sure what I'll do in the future, if there is another blow up.

What do you do about comments made on your personal Facebook page — do you allow people to converse or do you shut down the conversation?


  1. This is a great post, Stacey. I lived a lot of my life in the south and have many very conservatve southern friends, but have been in New England for 10 years and now have friends in the opposite corner. As a military brat, I've been all over the map and that's where my opinons lie. I find it difficult when people are so ardent about specific issues that polarize them from others.

    My bottom line is this: extremes are not a good place to live. They leave out too many other options; they short-change a complete picture of an issue or an emotion, relationship, etc.
    I don't thnk this makes me a moderate necessarily, but at the end of the day, I don't need a label the way some do.
    So what is my advice? Speak your mind when you feel compelled! Someone may learn something from your words and that's what it's really about, isn't it? Sharing ourselves with others? So thicken that skin and stick to your guns, my friend! Speak your mind and ignore the negativity. :)

  2. Stacey,

    I know just how you feel. Unlike yourself, I post a lot of political information on Facebook mostly related to our Wisconsin climate being infuriatingly ill since February. That being said, just as things were taking off I posted an article, had a friend comment negatively on our governor and I left it, ignored. Someone I greatly respect came back and back and back leaving me to defend my position on not deleting the original comment as well as defending the position of my friend. I was angry and near tears. Frustrated. Mad that my own space was being attacked. We came to some sort of conclusion and he eventually left Facebook for other reasons.

    What I did find out was how to post things on Facebook while leaving certain people out of the loop. I also decided that my page is my page is my page. End of story.

    I wish you a lot of luck. Stay true.

  3. Thanks Heather and Victoria. I appreciate your comments and support. It helped that last week I was out of service for most of the week (hence no response to your wonderful thoughts). I like what you say Victoria about "my page is my page." Have a great week.

  4. I avoid posting anything political on Facebook, but I do post on "issues" such as the environment, food, education, etc.

    I have found that talking about political candidates with anyone who does not share your views almost exactly and/or isn't someone you know very well is deadly.

    But I'm also a chicken...

  5. Julie, Since I posted this. My cyber friend created another flair up over a statement I made that was in no way connected with a candidate. (I wished children in my hometown a better day at school) I told him that not everything was political and he said "my dear, it is." We are no longer cyber friends. I decided I'm too old to be cyber bullied. Sad, I know.


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