Preaching to the Choir: Posting Political Opinions to Social Media

So, you just got a Facebook account for the first time?  What rock have you been under?  Well, since you’re new you might as well learn to post articles and such. Fast forward.  Looks like you’ve gained some new friends…and lost a few.  Well it happens.  Looks like Bob, Jennifer, and James liked your anti-Trump (or Anti-Obama) post. Kudos.  Oh, here’s another one.  Who liked this one?  Bob, Jennifer, and James. Again.  Well, perhaps it just a coincidence.  Let’s look at this political post…Bob, Jennifer, and James.  Hmm…

I’m sure by now you get the point.  For the most part when you post political content to Facebook you will invariably get the same group of people liking your post.  If you are preaching to the choir then what’s the point in posting at all?

Two reasons come to mind.  One is to get affirmation from those who think similarly to you.  Two is to keep those who just gave you affirmation thinking the same way you do.  I would add a third, to convince others to think the same as you but let’s face it, those folks unfollowed or even unfriended you a long time ago. So it is essentially preaching to the choir…it is an attempt to keep your congregation of political posters together.  

But is it a fruitful task?  As a person who formerly posted political content frequently, I can say…meh.  During the course of posting what I am sure are hundreds of posts in the past few years, only two times, that I can recall, did someone reconsider his/her ideas on a given political stance.  Even then, I’m sure the individuals that expressed this to me didn’t completely change their political views.  To even remotely make a dent in changing a person’s political opinion requires a carefully worded and methodical post.  However, those are far and few between and the plethora of leftist or rightist propaganda is sure to lure them back to their original side.

In the end, political posts serve mostly a preacher-to-choir function.  Even if you do manage to keep an opposite-side-of-the-political-spectrum friend, chances are they have tweaked their Facebook settings to not see all of your posts.  It is mostly rare to actually change anyone’s mind to even a moderate effect through a social media post.  In essence, you may end up with only people who share your political ideas as friends.  To this effect, if you want to keep those who think differently than you, then slowing down how many political posts you post is a good idea.  For some this may mean on a day and for others once every few days.  If you flood the news feed with your ideas and your friends don’t want to be inundated with them, your friends will find a way to block that content.  If this is your goal then by all means carry on. If not, then consider applying some moderation to your posting habbits.

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