Originally posted June 16, 2017, explaining why I rarely write anything political on Facebook anymore.
In the manner of someone at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, a friend of mine wrote on Facebook that he’s a “Facebook political junkie” and, in response to the recent shootings in Virginia, that he was sorry for the rancor he has caused over the years.
We’ve been friends for more than 30 years, even though our politics are about as opposite as could be, and he and I went around and around more times than I can count.
There was even one time where I was going at seven people at once until a couple people we both know came in and took the sting out of the discussion. To this day I don’t know why they did it.
And, before you ask, OF COURSE I won all the arguments. (Sure, he would say the same thing, but only one of us can be right, and that’s me.)
Yet now I hardly ever engage his political points, or anyone else’s, unless they really make me angry.
And I rarely write political posts of my own.
Why have a decided to disengage, especially since I love to argue?
It’s not because I think I’m being unusually harsh. I fight hard for my opinions, but I try to never make it personal.
The actual reason is that I started to hate what it did to me.
For me, arguing is like a competition, the cut and thrust, the move and countermove. What will the other person say, and how will I combat it?
In the beginning, I would write something, and then come back to Facebook with anticipation to see what the reply was so I could prepare a brilliant retort.
Then, at some point (I can’t even tell you when it was), it stopped being fun and started being stressful. I’d get on Facebook not to figure out how I’d slip the jab and throw a devastating left hook, but to see how angry I’d get.
And even though my arguments were, of course, unassailable in their logic, I couldn’t get people to actually say, “You know what? You were right all along!”
It almost made my head hurt.
So, for the most part, I stopped. I’ll still argue sports or more-frivolous, less-emotional stuff, but almost never politics.
I’ve unfollowed a few people who post things that annoy me, but mostly I read their comments and grouse to my wife about them. If it’s a repost of someone else’s Facebook thoughts, I just block the person who originally posted it.
I must say, it has done wonders for my blood pressure.