(By Daisy Luther) It’s incredibly sad when you thought you had friends, a church family, a close-knit neighborhood and strong familial bonds only to find they were too shallow to survive a vote. Due to social media, we now have a little too much insight into the opinions of others, and it’s dividing relationships that were otherwise loving and healthy.
Facebook is littered with stories of friendships ripped apart by voting disagreements. A friend of mine lost over half her Twitter contacts retweeted several pro-Trump Tweets, and she’s not even American.
Users of Facebook are reporting being unfriended and even blocked by those with differing political opinions. I’ll admit that I did change my privacy settings during the election because I wanted to avoid the angry political discussions, but my goal in that was to be able to remain friends with the people who see the world differently than I do.
But others don’t feel that way. They’re severing ties. People that have known each other for years. People who have been to each others’ homes. People whose children are in the same class at school. People who go to church together.
Families whose politics are divided are actually canceling Thanksgiving plans with one another.
Some are even worried about their jobs.
Freedom of speech and freedom of choice are supposed to be treasured, inalienable rights in America, but this just isn’t happening. The animosity between sides is like nothing I’ve ever seen.
Maybe I am just more of a live and let live kind of person. I can’t fathom how people on either side are breaking off longstanding relationships with others over politics.
Regardless of who had taken the helm in America, we are in for a bumpy ride. The economy will not magically recover. There will be painful changes. There will be conflicts in the global arena.
During difficult times, our families, friends, neighbors, and faith have a massive role to play in our lives. Mental health experts agree that a healthy, loving support system is essential for weathering a crisis.
This is no time to be moving away from our support groups and the people we love.
Social media is a great way to keep in touch and be informed instantly, but it does have a dark side. How many people would have worked out their differences if they were not able to sever a friendship using a simple, anonymous button? Maybe instead of ditching the people in your life, you should take a break from social media instead so that you aren’t enraged by their every post.
I guess we’ll never know.
Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org