10 Reasons You Should Not Discuss Politics on Facebook by D.L.McHale


facebook

I see a lot of things I disagree with on social media. And, to be honest, I’ve probably posted more than my share of things that are disagreeable. It’s hard to keep our personal beliefs to ourselves when we see things online that we take issue with. Let’s take the subject of politics on Facebook.

For me personally, I have many friends and family members on Facebook who are on both sides of the fence politically. From time to time I have posted something politically charged, only to go back a little bit later and remove it after I’ve thought about the possible repercussions. I am now fully committed to never doing it again.

So, I’ve come up with some reasons why none of us should post about politics on Facebook. Nothing that I’ve written is intended to silence anyone. My sole motivation is to keep relationships on Facebook intact, and invite the reader to look toward more appropriate forums for political debate.  Here you go….

  1. You could alienate family and lose your friends.There is no reason friends and family can’t discuss political issues calmly and respectfully…but for heaven’s sake, do so in person! If you don’t feel comfortable expressing opinions at the dinner table, why would you feel so comfortable doing so online? Don’t be a coward! Most people feel righteous and powerful when they are safe behind their computers and post things they would never say face to face. Being an online political bully is no different than being a bully in person. Remember, even if you are right doesn’t make it right! And what does it say about you as a friend that you are willing to hurt the ones you love just to express your political leanings?
  1. You could lose your job. Posting your strong political beliefs on Facebook is personal, and it’s not business…correct? Bullshit!  If your employer feels strongly about a political issue and you go on Facebook and post totally derogatory rants counter to what they believe, they might take your post personally and professionally. You want your employer to like you and factor you into the culture of the business they built. And while you have every right to hold opposite beliefs, you don’t need to invite career disaster just to put your opinion online.  Employers hire people they know, like and trust. Period. If you are willing to accept the consequence, by all means, post away.  But after the election is over, and you sit there unemployed, not sure what happened, don’t blame others for your indiscretion.
  1. You are wasting your time. “Your clever meme changed my political beliefs” said no one ever! You’re not going to change someone’s political beliefs on Facebook. You may think you have the most compelling argument, but guess what? You don’t, and neither do they. You can debate and debate, but you’re just wasting your time. People are different and believe different things. If you truly love and care for your online friends and family , quietly accept it, agree to disagree and move on. Life’s too short. Let your vote be your voice.
  1. Facebook is the wrong platform. If you’re bound and determined to spend time arguing over political issues online, perhaps you should go to a political blog or a news site and do so. Don’t ruin everyone else’s experience on Facebook with your political rants, no matter how passionately you think others NEED to hear your point of view. No one wants to limit your freedom to fight for what you believe, but ask yourself, is Facebook the right forum? Last week you were posting photos of your precious niece at a ballet recital.  This week your niece’s parents don’t give a shit about you because you called them stupid on political issues.  If you are willing to damage your close relationships to express an opinion that evaporates in the next political cycle, by all means, do so. Perhaps you should go into politics yourself where you can sacrifice your loved ones as long as you get your soap-box to stand upon. Fair exchange, right?
  1. There’s enough politics in the media. One of the reasons I use Facebook is to laugh, have fun and converse with my friends and family. I don’t use it to get worked up or stressed out over something I see that I disagree with. There’s enough political coverage in the mainstream media. More than enough. Keep it there and leave the politics to the pundits. As much as you believe you are the end-all in political debate…you are not. Get over yourself. When all is said and done in this election, you Mom will still be your Mom; your maid-of-honor will still be your best friend. Your aunt and uncle will still be part of the fabric of your life.  (Well, maybe.)
  1. You might lose 50% of your clients. If you’re marketing your business on Facebook, you absolutely NEVER want to go down this road on your Facebook business page. When you post your political beliefs on your business Facebook page, I guarantee you just lost up to 50% of your potential client base.  And for what?  The right to feel right?  I have a lot of strong opinions, but none of them are valued over $1.00.  But hey, it’s your business.  If you feel everything you’ve worked hard for and sacrificed for is easily given up for the right to be King of the Mountain of Facebook, by all means go for it.  I’m sure your candidate will mail you a check to cover your loss.  What, nothing in the mailbox.  I’m sorry.  Keep posting…maybe it will be in the mail next week.
  1. You’re just feeding the troll. I’m sorry for name-calling in a post that despises name-calling, but let’s face it: you’re just making yourself another Internet troll. And Facebook is infested with trolls. It’s too easy and you are not nearly as clever as you think you are. Half-truths and shallow talking points are what the internet are made of. The troll diet consists of apples and oranges as they attempt to equate things like the rainbow flag to the confederate flag. These people don’t deserve your attention; they’re just antagonists. They don’t want rules. They just want to fight and prefer it to be unmediated. That is exactly the platform Facebook provides. It’s a place where people feel comfortable making huge rhetorical leaps, without facing the challenge or consequences of having to back it up. Do yourself a favor and just stay out of it.
  1. Keep your political posts to facts and figures and funny (not mean) things. Don’t pretend you know what you are talking about. Are you an expert on foreign policy, or do you just have a personal opinion? Can you talk with expertise on the nuances of global economics, or are you just pissed because your paycheck is shrinking, rather than growing? Keep it to the facts as it applies to you
  1. When you comment on a friend’s post, don’t make it personal – ever. If a friend’s Facebook posts are offensive to you, “un-follow” them until Election Day 2016. That way their posts and cheap memes won’t be visible to you.  Or, if they really go too far, “unfriend” or “block” them. But please, don’t do this for family members with whom you may be breaking bread or sharing turkey in a few weeks’ time.
  1. Join a closed Facebook group dedicated to your political point of view .Rant all you want with those like-minded individuals. But don’t think that just because it’s closed, your posts will be private; they won’t be. Join Twitter and leave Facebook behind for now. You can “follow” those who believe what you do and they can reciprocate. In that way, Twitter is very incestuous, but keeping it all in the family can sometimes be a good thing.

Agree or disagree with my advice? Instead of beating up on others, go ahead a beat up on me at dennis.l.mchale@gmail.com. Trust me, I have nothing to lose. I promise, I won’t be offended and perhaps your family and friends will still love and accept you after election day.

The Lantern


Image

Do you see that lantern on the mantle?
Its light has shined on three generations of this family.

My grandfather learned to read under the tutelage of its glow.
He wrote love letters to my grandmother in verse reflecting
The warmth gathered from its flickering beam.

My mother found her way home through lost woods
To the waiting arms of my Dad,
And on the night I was conceived, it lent its sexuality.

Bright and slightly hesitant, still burn brightly
The night I was born, weaving moonbeams
Linking silver threads through the tapestry of our lives;
Illuminating my path through the years,

It has lit my tears and calmed my fears;
Beneath its flame we all found ways to heal
To bind up old wounds; to celebrate new beginnings,
While keeping vigil as loved ones passed away

One day I’ll pass it down to my children
Now crawling on the ground
And in its light they’ll learn to see within themselves,
Beyond themselves

I take it down and light it it’s blackened wick
Whenever I am consumed by darkness;
It watches over me and comforts me;

It reminds me that there are so many ways
To become illuminated

 

The Lantern


Image

Do you see that lantern on the mantle?
Its light has shined on three generations of this family.

My grandfather learned to read under the tutelage of its glow.
He wrote love letters to my grandmother in verse reflecting
The warmth gathered from its flickering beam.

My mother found her way home through lost woods
To the waiting arms of my Dad,
And on the night I was conceived, it lent its sexuality.

Bright and slightly hesitant, still burn brightly
The night I was born, weaving moonbeams
Linking silver threads through the tapestry of our lives;
Illuminating my path through the years,

It has lit my tears and calmed my fears;
Beneath its flame we all found ways to heal
To bind up old wounds; to celebrate new beginnings,
While keeping vigil as loved ones passed away

One day I’ll pass it down to my children
Now crawling on the ground
And in its light they’ll learn to see within themselves,
Beyond themselves

I take it down and light it it’s blackened wick
Whenever I am consumed by darkness;
It watches over me and comforts me;

It reminds me that there are so many ways
To become illuminated

 

Father’s Day


Image

He pillaged the title the day I was born
and like most thieves, he took for granted that which he stole.
Being a “father” meant no more to him than taking the trash out
the only difference being, he preferred to bring the trash in.
Each night, drunk and puffed full of false bravado, he would
return home from the bar twenty minutes after closing
with some strange woman who was half his age
who still managed to look twice as old as he was.
They all smoked and smelled of cheap perfume and beer,
and as he pushed by my mother with
with a violence that seemed to rattle her bones,
he would look at me, a frightened five year old
with no understanding of what this all meant,
and flip me the finger.

Every day was “father’s day”..
his to do with as he willed.
They took their sins into
my mother’s bedroom and slammed the door behind them.
I feared my father, but hated my mother
for not taking us out of this broken house and into
the world where somewhere, someone could love us.
That’s all I wanted…love. What I got was limitless contempt
for complicating their lives.
She just sat in the living room before the television, defeated
and sipping her gin, counting the years down until she might
find the courage to cut her wrists,
leaving us to…him.

I Am Part of the WordPress Family Award


Nominated by Tersia Burger
Nominated by Tersia Burger

In accepting the honor of “I Am Part of the WordPress Family Award,” I am moved not only by a profound gratitude for the recognition of my writing, but also by a very poignant humility coming from being nominated by such a courageous and awe-inspiring woman as Tersia Burger.

For those of you who don’t already know the story of  Tersia and her beautiful daughter, Vicky Bruce, I strongly encourage you to visit their blog, http://tersiaburger.com/.  It chronicles the incredible devotion and grace of a mother suffering the joys and heartaches of her daughters journey through an agonizing illness, which only recently took her from her mother’s enduring embrace.  It is a powerful story that will once and for all define what is meant by unconditional love.

Let me assure you that words fail to convey the deep emotion which stirs within me at this time, when it falls within my province to receive this testimonial, as I do, on behalf of the memory of Vicky Bruce. Thank you Tersia, for the award and love you have conferred upon me.

With Gratitude and Love,

Dennis

Appalachian Woods


cabin

Our lives can best be understood
in all the things we craft from wood
The dogwood laid our cabin floor
hung knotted pine our shanty door

Six bowls we carved from fallen maple
a burnt mahogany sets our table
A dozen spoons and forks by hand
hewn perfect fit for every man

And woman, too, with pocket-knives
whittle tokens of our humble lives
Soft wicker thatched this rocking chair
and spruce the toys sprawled everywhere

In wooden homes that we have built
we hang on pegs our history quilts
Each patch a memory lovingly stitched
our purses poor, our lives quite rich

Our beds and wardrobes never falter
we hand-carved those from summer alder
Our coffins, too, of stout mesquite
for when our journey is complete

In wood we find our heart’s desire
or pain if come the wayward fire
And even so, most grievous sin
not to build from wood again

So now you better understand
how we live upon this land
Within the forest, and it in us
in God we hope, in wood we trust

Awakening


I have lived on the cusp
of knowing, and still my days
are filled with
incertitude,
Laughter rings my home
where generations have
gathered,
Flesh and bone betray
and to this day
I cannot make out the faces
that call me brother!
My father fell from grace
the day I was born and
stumbling, perfumed by
the scent of failure
and sweet vermouth,
he made his exit.
I never knew him.
My legs stretch long
before my faltered steps
but they cannot carry me
far enough away.
My dreams are salted and
weathered; my hope reserved
for the scattering of
copper pennies upon foreign
streets.
My only wish is to sleep
through this overture of
nothingness until cool
waters redeem my parched
awakening.

The Lantern


Do you see that lantern on the mantle?

Its light has shined on three generations of this family.

My grandfather learned to read under the tutelage of its glow;

Wrote love letters to my grandmother in verse reflecting

The warmth gathered from its flickering beam.

My mother found her way home through lost woods

To the arms of my Da, and on the night I was conceived

It lent its sexuality.

Bright and slightly hesitant, still it burns, weaving moonbeams

Like silver threads through the tapestry of our lives.

Illuminating through the years, it has lit my tears and

Calmed my fears; beneath its flame we all found ways to heal,

To bind up old wounds; to celebrate new beginnings, while keeping

Vigil as loved ones passed away.

One day I’ll pass it down to my children now crawling on the ground

And in its light they’ll learn to see within themselves, beyond themselves.

I take it down and light it whenever I am consumed by darkness; it watches

Over me and comforts me; reminds me that there are so many ways

To become illuminated.

The Trinity and Me


First They took my father, and then consumed my mother
Without the slightest hesitance, They came and took another
My sister left in tender years, They left me naught but pouring tears
We’re promised today and not the other, so They came again and claimed my brother
I prayed They’d come for me one day,, but here I stand with feet of clay
And this belies my ardent fear, They’ll not return for many years
Leaving me with nothing more than dreams of how it was before
How cruel and painful can They get, my day will come, but not just yet
And so I stand here all alone, with a wounded heart and an empty home.
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; which of these I hate the most?
The Trinity it’s plain to see, for it’s all for One and none for me.