social networks, civility, and the election

A lot of electronic ink has been spilled over the topic of social networks and the election, both within the social media and by the mainstream media. Those with opposing views have been hidden or at worst de-friended on Facebook, as has been mentioned so many times.

I am among the guilty. I hid at least one FB friend who was sharing an excessive number of pro-Romney links. And I liked, and hence shared, a fair number of pro-Obama links, along with posting a few of my own. I stopped that about three weeks before the election when a sensible person called for civility and not being in our friends faces with our presidential preferences. That was good advice, and I complied, as painful as it was at times. After all, no one was going to change my opinion, and I was going to change no one’s. I admit that I lost control Facebook-wise on election night, but was well-behaved the three weeks up until then. In the end I lost no Facebook friends during election season, though I have no idea how many friends might have hidden me.

The popular vote was close. We know that. Certainly people had legitimate reasons for supporting Romney, but I breathed a deep sigh of relief when CNN called the election for Obama. I have not changed my views that:

  • Romney did not have a thought-out plan for the economy.
  • Women’s health issues would have been set back forty years or more under Romney.
  • The environment would have suffered and renewable energy would have taken a big hit.
  • We would have had a president who had no sense of finesse or diplomacy with respect to foreign policy.
  • Romney wanted to be president because it would be his latest, greatest achievement, and not out of any real concern for the country. That smirk always troubled me.

Maybe I’m wrong on some or all of the above, but I feel safer and more hopeful with Obama’s re-election, even with a split congress.

As for Facebook and social networks, let’s forget all of that and get back to being friends, sharing our thoughts, and respecting each other when we disagree.

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