Election Day was yesterday, but today is where all the aftermath happens on social media and in conversations with strangers. Just in case you need a refresher, it’s important not to disrupt relationships on account of politics.
It’s an election. Someone’s going to lose. Someone’s feelings will be hurt. Here’s how to stay classy as the dust settles.
1. Choose your outlet wisely. Some people have family and friends on Facebook and random people on Twitter. To express my personal political views I use Tumblr where I am more or less anonymous. You probably have family or friends on both of these networks who do not agree with you. Be wise about how you express yourself as not to alienate the other group.
2. Stick with the facts. If you are going to engage in political discussion with someone via social media, arguing rhetoric will get you no where. Argue facts, not ideas and I bet you’ll be the smarter of the two.
3. Engage in private. Some shots are personal, and unfortunately, also public. If you are really interested in the conversation at hand, have a conversation with that person in private where you can express your views in a safe place.
4. Respectfully disagree. Today you won’t be able to turn around without someone disagreeing with your opinion. Today is also not the day to try to convince someone else of your opinion. Voting happened yesterday. Let bygones be bygones and walk away from a disagreement going nowhere.
5. Wise up. Although you probably should have done the legwork before the election, now’s a great time to learn about the candidates you voted into office – since it’s on the front page and all – so you can vote for them or against them in the next election. Be informed.
6. Wait ’til you get home. Please, I beg you, do NOT engage in political discussion with your coworkers. There is no scenario where this plays out well for you or for them. Let them be, regardless of how you feel.
Remember, the people you engage with over social media are actual people. They have feelings and egos just like you. Think twice before saying something you’ll regret later on. Keep it classy in the first place so you won’t have to apologize – because we all know how much apologizing sucks.
What are some other ways to keep it classy this Election Day?
Adrienne Johnson is a freelance writer & editor in Indianapolis, Indiana. A graduate of DePauw University and a self-proclaimed “nerdette,” she can’t get enough of witty shows like Community and New Girl while discussing articles from her favorite blogs with friends. She laughs loudly, sings constantly, and will always have a place in her heart for the cello. Get in touch.
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