Now that all of your friends, your family, your boss, random people you meet at the bar, and the hoi polloi you went to high school with are on your friend list, you’re bound to see political posts you disagree with.
Not everyone is as intelligent and sophisticated as you are. Some people are “stupid” or “bigoted” or “have no compassion” or they’re “republiturds” or “libtards” or whatever else. They’re clearly unfit to occupy space on your news feed.
So the obvious course of action to dealing with these morons who disagree with you is to unfollow them. If they are particularly horrid individuals who don’t believe the same exact things as you do, then you can even unfriend them!
Well, before you proceed to click that unfriend button remember just one thing, you need controversy in your life. You need to be exposed to different opinions and different ideas. Likewise, these people need controversy from you as well.
Even if these people seem like they are complete offensive dolts, keep them around anyway. Delve into their way of thinking so you can better understand their side of the political train wreck. It will help you better understand yourself.
Yeah, there will always be some obnoxious troll who you will not get through to, it happens, welcome to planet earth. Ignore them and move along because they’re not genuine. However, not everyone who disagrees with your point of view is a troll. They could just be, you know, thinking differently than the way that you do, which is fine.
Do not block your adversaries from your life when they’re offering you free insight into the way they see the world. You may think you always need to be sheltered from what they’re saying or that you always need to be near more like-minded folks, but that rarely leads to personal growth in the end.
“A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.”
― Baltasar Gracián
Not only should you know exactly what your political enemies are thinking, you should always investigate what you believe as well.
Even the most modestly intelligent people among us can still expose you to new content that changes your perspective. Likewise, you can expose them to new information too. If you unfriend everyone who disagrees with your politics, then you are undoubtedly creating an ideological echo-chamber where all you will hear is praise and harmony. In other words, you’re not being challenged.
While it’s good to have camaraderie, the constant praise and harmony will weaken you. So don’t click unfriend. Just learn to accept that other people exist who will disagree with you, even if they seem to be helpless imbeciles. If you’re lucky, you can catch someone who disagrees with your politics who is willing to have a civilized debate with you.
I personally love the opportunity to have an intelligent debate with someone who sees the world differently than I see it. It’s a rare treat, but it can happen on social media. Most of the time it’s difficult to get through that huge blockade of bullshit when it comes to politics, so when you do get that chance, take advantage of it.
You are, in a sense, infiltrating the enemy camp. Just make sure you keep your ego in check. Don’t go into a debate with the urge to win. Enter with the urge to understand as well as be understood. Consider their points and be cordial.
I have left many, many debates with a new perspective or at least the nagging desire to dig further into what they were talking about. It is a good sign if you have books piling up in your room all because you either lost a debate or someone made you think. There is never any shame in losing when it leads to self-improvement. Debates have prompted me to expose myself to countless pieces of literature, and my journey for knowledge will not willingly cease to happen.
Question everything and never stop learning.