There seem to be two kinds of Facebook users: those that go on there just to post cute stuff, like kittens and puppies, and those that use it to be armchair activists, constantly posting the same articles and memes about politics over and over and over.
Both are annoying in their own way (honestly, your baby stops being cute after the thousandth picture you post of him) but the second one is far, far worse. Even when it's someone I tend to agree with, it wears me out to be inundated like that, and I just want them to stop.
Turns out, I'm far from the only one who feels that way. In fact, according to a study by social media marketing website Rantic, and reported by Wired, a good number of people have actually defriended others for that very behavior.
A survey of more than 10,000 people on Facebook found that more Republicans than Democrats admitted to posting about their political views, though the margin wasn't all that great, 39 percent to 34 percent. Only 26 percent of so-called Independents said they had (I say "so-called" because I don't really believe in independent voters; I kind of feel like they're just people who like the attention).
Interestingly, it was Democrats who were most likely to get rid of someone because of a political post, with 18 percent admitting they did that, compared to 12 percent of Republicans. I would wager a good guess that these numbers are actually higher in both cases, and that people didn't want to admit they had done this, because it kind of makes you look like a big baby and a jerk.
Also, you don't have to defriend someone, which is kind of a harsh thing to do. It's like cutting someone out of your life just for disagreeing with you. Stop being so dramatic and just unfollow them.
Here's the real rub, though: those posts which are annoying so many of your friends are ineffectual anyway. Nobody is being converted by your incessant need to call Hillary a war criminal, or Donald Trump a bloated, cheeto-stained man-baby.
Only six percent of Republicans say they've ever changed their minds because of a Facebook post, and only eight percent of Democrats. That leaves over 90 percent of each party who you've gone and pissed off for absoluely nothing.
That isn't to say that you should stop talking about politics altogether. A sizable, though still relatively small, percentage of both parties think it's a good place to talk about their views.
Just be smart about it. Post interesting things, don't post a new political thing every 10 minutes and, if someone decides to argue with you, please be civil. Maybe you can turn someone into one of those very few who's minds have been changed on Facebook.
(Image source: personalpowermeditation.com)