A decade ago political debates and discussions were common among friends and peers. Sometimes such discussions turned to heated arguments, but it never ever affected the relationships. But in the recent past, things have changed. Many blissful friendships have been destroyed due to political discussions.The reasons are, nowadays political discussions among friends mostly happen through social media platforms like whatsapp, facebook, instagram etc. In digital platforms, we are not seeing others physically.
As a result, we become less human and are forced to see our friends as political opponents only. There is always a lack of personal touch and is not possible to match with digital options. Further the political disagreement became more misinterpreted on social media than in face to face communication. That is why many people stop talking about politics on social media platforms for the sake of maintaining relationships. It is the least we can think about discussing politics in a social media group because it directly impacts relationships no matter how old and what position we are.
Hence, It is highly recommended to have political discussions in a healthy, face -to-face conversation. Because it provides instant gratification. There is no waiting period for answering. As social creatures we always respond to real life connection and engagement rather than digital connections. Moreover, arguments and conflicts could be easily resolved in face to face discussions.
However in this digital era, we cannot avoid online political discussions with friends having opposing political views. So it is necessary to learn some etiquette to deal with it.
- First of all take a decision to not allow politics to spoil your online reputation.Before posting the content ,ask yourself “Who your audience is”?, “Is it worth sharing”?,”Will it end up in meaningless conflicts”?
- Make your content simple and clear. Because people can’t read your mind behind the screen.
- Before commenting on a post out of anger, allow yourself time to read the post & process it. Don’t respond to a post or comment out of emotion. Maybe you don’t like what another person believes,but you need to realise it is their right to believe it.
- There is no need to hide the opinion or bury the differences. However it is important to handle it with care. If you want to comment, do not turn your opinion into a character assault.Do it intelligently & always stick to the facts.
- Don’t take others’ opinions personally and avoid imposing your political beliefs on your friends.Accept that we are all formed by different life experiences. Being respectful to others’ political beliefs makes a world of difference and helps you become a more open minded person. We become more empathetic and learn to see the world from another point of view.
- Don’t spread cyber-gossips or hate speech. If you spend time on political conversations,learn something that makes sense,even if we disagree on the outcome.
It is widely seen that people are likely and more comfortable with friends having the same political ideology. This needs to change. Staying with friends having different political beliefs is not difficult. Realise that political conversations between friends are not about who is right and who is wrong. Always agree and respect one’s opinion, if the opinion is best for the welfare of the country & its citizens. If we keep that in mind we can make political conversations more constructive regardless of our political ideology.