How do you react when you discover someone you have come to really like online doesn’t share the same political views? Do you get into a heated online debate? A new study released last month from the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 18 percent of people who use social networking sites such as Facebook and Google+ have blocked, unfriended or hidden someone because of that person’s disagreeable political postings.
Every major political season seems to take a toll on even the best of online relationships. One girlfriend told me she had no idea one of her other friends was adamantly opposed to the candidate she was endorsing. She said it broke her heart because of the vicious things she has been saying.
Have you found yourself in a position where you discovered someone you respect and admire doesn’t share your same political views? It can be a tough situation. It can be even more challenging when you are trying to build online relationships. I have, personally, found myself in the same situation. I’ve actually lost connections because of my particular political views and I have also cut ties with others who have displayed an angry, bitter tone about my candidate.
Mixing social media and politics can be tricky business because however you choose to respond will be seen by thousands of eyes. It could be a publicity killer for your reputation if you are trying to conduct business from the same people whose political views you oppose.
So what do you think is the best way to handle online relationships when it comes to politics? Do you choose not to associate with people because of their views or can you separate the two when it comes to business?