Data Point

Yesterday morning, I had N friends on Facebook.

This morning, I still have N friends on Facebook.

Which option is more likely?

  1. I am doing the whole "political posts on Facebook" thing wrong.
  2. I have a passel of incredibly tolerant friends.
  3. I have inadvertently trained all my Facebook friends to ignore whatever I say.

I'm leaning towards #3, myself.


lelnet said...

4. Your facebook friends already agree with your political views, for the most part.

(If I started doing political posts to facebook and sharing them with all friends, or with the world, I'd probably lose about half my "friends"...and they'd be the half of my facebook friends who aren't really my friends in any other sense, and who I really ought to just drop as facebook friends anyway, because I long ago stopped caring about what they have to say.)

Samrobb said...

I should have included that for completeness' sake, but I am very much aware (thanks, presidential election!) that I've got a wide variety of friends of *all* political stripes.

I do try to avoid political posts on FB because I *do* like my friends, and don't want to alienate people I care about with in-our-face politics. They know where I stand, and if they don't bring it up, I won't, either. Which is why my blog has gotten increasingly political over the past few years - I feel comfortable letting my hair down here.

The situation that unfolded yesterday with the union protesters in MI was just too much for me to sit on, though.

lelnet said...

Well, those would be differences between you and me, then. And, not knowing your friends, I guessed wrong. :)

In my case, the "friends" I'd lose are people who don't live in the same time zone as me, with whom I haven't exchanged a direct communication in at least a year (and in some cases, more like a decade), and who could easily be completely unaware of the fact that I'm no longer imbibing of the Kool-Aid I drank so freely when I was in the pre-adulthood state from which they knew me best. I could thus probably count on them to denounce me as a Traitor To The Cause(tm) and then "unfriend" me.

Whereas in your case, it seems that at least some of these people are actually still your friends in more than the "facebook contacts with people I used to actually know" sense. Which means that, to the extent that your political views might offend them, they will presumably have already gotten used to it.

So in that case, I'd say it's some combination of #2 and #3 whose ratio might be knowable to a first approximation, but likely can never be computed with precision. :)