Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tired of Politics

We are well into the election season and I cannot wait until it is over. As annoying as it is to watch and listen to the mud-slinging, negative campaigning and all the accusations of the other candidates lying (even if it's true), it is even worse to listen to it amongst the people I know.

I know where I stand politically and I am not shy about it, but I don't throw it at other people. It doesn't bother me that some people want to wear their political affiliations on their sleeve. It's their right to discuss politics and policy as often or rarely as they want. However, it is amazing how many people cannot discuss these issues without getting angry and insulting toward someone who does not share their views. I love a good debate and would be more than happy to debate my beliefs with anyone, but I don't want to get into an argument. Not many people can friendly disagree.

It is no secret that I love Facebook. In fact, I am pretty sure that a very large number of people do. However, for the last two months or so, it has not been fun to be on Facebook or Twitter. The political posts are making me want to gouge my neighbor's eyes out. It's nothing against him, but I'm not going to gouge out my own eyes. It is not people's opinions that bother me. I can handle and even welcome opposing views. It is the nastiness I am seeing happen on people's walls. People that I know to be friends are saying the most horrible things to each other just because they stand on opposite sides of an issue or support a candidate the other does not care for.

There are many issues that I am very passionate about and still others that I firmly believe involve a moral right or wrong and am disgusted that we even have to discuss their legality, however none of these issues are worth losing friends over. In most cases, I keep my mouth shut. It is very rare that you can sway a person to your side anyway. Many of the people that are hard to take on Facebook and Twitter right now are people that I enjoy interacting with the rest of the year, so I don't want to unfriend them. I wouldn't even mind talking to them if they could be nice, but it doesn't seem to be the case for now.

I have taken some measures to help make the next month more tolerable. Due to the nature of my job, I don't physically encounter many people during the week, so my social interactions are on Facebook, which is where the bulk of my irritation lies. Last week I found a way to get around it and thought I would share it with you.

There is a fantastic new app out called Social Fixer. Some have dubbed it the "Better Facebook." This app is not made for political purposes, but can be used for them. Social Fixer has many, many, many ways it improves your Facebook experience, but my favorite one is the blocking of statuses containing keywords you define.

If you install this app, you can set it up to block the words Romney, Obama, Democrat, Republican, election, health care, town hall, etc. Your Facebook will look exactly the same, but a post containing any of those words will not show up in your feed. It makes your internet time much more tolerable if the political rants are starting to make your blood boil.

When the election season is over, you can continue to use it for the political nasty backlash that inevitably will happen after the election or set the blocked words to be anything else you don't want to see. You can block out a hated sports team, stop news about the latest cause bandwagon everyone has jumped on, or avoid posts concerning anything else you may be sick of hearing about.

Another tool that does the same thing is Facebook Purity. This one specifically blocks certain updates, but doesn't have all the extra features of Social Fixer. There are similar apps for Twitter as well. Try Declutter or Proxlet. For mobile user of Twitter the TweetDeck app can do the same thing. Click Settings > Global Filter and define whatever restrictions you prefer.

This was not the direction I intended to go when I started this post. I just wanted to express my disgust for the people who forget common decency when discussing politics and did not know I would be plugging social filter products, but I am happy to provide this service for the people who might like to take advantage of it.

This is not paid advertisement. WOW! I've never had to say that before.

21 comments:

  1. I don't spend much time on Facebook but thanks for this Social Fixer App; I might resort to using it.

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    1. It makes for a much more pleasant experience.

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  2. Amen, and thanks for the info. I will add it today.

    Hestia

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  3. I am going to use this, but I hesitate to share the post on my page, lest others find me. Hm...

    And as for me, I know where I stand (not with any party, but on issues) but I do not want to discuss it. Political conversations in my experience never go well.

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    1. It's at the point now that there almost isn't even any point. I think I am going to the courthouse to vote tomorrow and get it over with.

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  4. It's good to know I'm not alone in my sentiments about this. I haven't been on my FB in so long because of the venom I see posted on there. It's been going on for months and has become so personal it's awful to see people be this way towards one another. Personal attacks get people nowhere.

    Thank you for the information - great help!

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    1. I've seen a few get so bad that I don't know if the relationships can be salvaged. This is part of why I don't like most people.

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    2. Politics and religion tend to bring out the ugly in people. I don't know why. Passion in their beliefs I suppose. Sad, really.

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  5. This is one of the reasons I rarely get on facebook anymore, I too will be glad when the election is said and done.

    It's sad that most people can't tell the difference between a debate and an argument, you can have a healthy debate on any topic and remain friends, friends don't always agree so why should you get mad when you don't

    Excellent post my Friend.

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    1. Thank you. Since people have an infinite number of opinions of everything, I don't know why politics is so polarizing. It's sick.

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  6. The only problem with this is that I would hate to actually block people like yourself and a few other friends that are actually FUNNY about the debate debacles and such. But yes indeed, there are some others . . .

    Based on your recommendations, I will be going out and purchasing ALL of these products. Maybe even 2 of them! I hope those companies are paying you a mint!

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    1. Social Fixer is actually free. I don't think I mentioned that in the post.

      I debated about whether to employ this or not. There is so much mentioned about politics that is not nasty that I didn't want to lose all of it. In the end, I decided that for me, I was willing to miss a few to get rid of the rest.

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  7. That is genius. I will have to remember it when I can gef back on my laptop.

    One of the things that drive me mad is when people say that you don't get to voice your opinion if you aren't old enough to vote. Or, as I was told yesterday, unless I vote then I don't get to voice my opinion. I have no interest in voting and I will not let myself be dragged into all of the fighting, even by things like that.

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    1. Someone told my daughter that a few days ago. She then pointed out that he won't stop talking about his college plans. If you're still in high school, then you have no right to talk about college.

      He didn't get her point.

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  8. I couldn't agree with you more! I am not on Facebook much, but when I do go on, I can't stand to see the fighting. I firmly believe you will never sway someone with a political post on Facebook, so I just don't get why people bother. It's too easy to be nasty when you're not face to face with someone!

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    1. You're right. It won't happen that easily. I value my friends too much to just cast them aside due to differences in opinion.

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  9. I have a FB but at this point I use it so rarely because of all the political diatribes and football updates that seem to be non-stop. I keep it so I can keep tabs on my daughter's account even though I am fairly certain she uses it less than I do. But it is certainly nice to have a program that will filter the nonsense!

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    1. I love it. I also use it to block out all the sports stuff I don't care about.

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  10. Oh man, I couldn't agree with you more. I am very passionate about politics, however, I don't often discuss it with anyone outside my immediate family. People can get ugly all too quickly during conversations about politics, it's like logic and rationality fly out the window.

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    1. Good plan. I just have no interest in discussing it in a less than friendly crowd.

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