Have a look at the meme below. It’s one of my favorite memes of all time, simple and accurate:

After enduring an endless 2020 where all I seemed to do was argue with my friends on social media about fucking COVID-19, I started to understand what in hindsight was plainly obvious: it bears no fruit. Then, last year, I saw a clip of my man Bill Maher on The Jimmy Kimmel Show that really drove it home for me. I’ve set the time stamp on the interview to the relevant part:

Let it go.

It’s true! We weren’t like this even a decade ago! It used to be considered rude to talk about politics openly amongst friends and family, precisely because people understood it could only cause hostility. Now, politics is everywhere. You can’t escape it online, you can’t escape it in pop culture. You can’t escape it driving down the street with so many people taking sides by covering their cars in ridiculous stickers. Within five minutes of talking with almost any adult now, you can determine what side of the fence they’re on politically. We can’t help ourselves anymore, be it online or in person. After I saw that interview, I decided to do my part and put it into action. As a result, I haven’t made a purely political post on Facebook since September 2021, nearly a year ago, and I haven’t regretted it for a second. But I’ve also never talked about that decision until now.

That’s not to say I no longer have opinions or I’m no longer paying attention to the news. There’s surely been plenty to talk about over the past year. The January 6 investigation is fascinating (and important), many Republicans are basically trying to end democracy in the name of one of worst people alive (our former president), our current president doesn’t know where he is or what he’s supposed to be doing half the time, we’re fighting a war against Russia by proxy, and the Supreme Court is now a rubber stamp for all right-wing policy. Some might consider that to be a problem. Point is, there’s plenty of fodder. But what is the objective of blabbering about it on Facebook and “debating” these things with others? If your objective is to make people realize your truth is the truth, you’re going to fail 100% of the time.

What is the point of talking any politics on Facebook? The result can be only one of two things: you have people who agree with you click the like button and comment that you’re right (usually the same 4 or 5 people you already knew agreed with you) or you piss off people who disagree who you’re still allegedly calling friends. What is the benefit of either result? There’s nothing more useless than preaching to the choir, and you shouldn’t be trying to antagonize people you consider friends. Political independents like me can piss off people on both sides on any given day depending on the topic (and I have). Most of all, no matter how well-reasoned my arguments may have been, and no matter how many facts I’ve presented, I understand I haven’t changed a single mind on a single issue in all my ranting. So, I’m done trying. We live in a country where many people do not acknowledge facts as being facts if those facts disprove something they believe. That’s the terrifying reality of it. Social media is not the place to try and alter the human condition. So far all it’s done is drive a wedge between us, as hundreds of smart people have pointed out across all forms of media.

I guess I should clarify. This is mostly in reference to Meta’s platforms, Facebook and Instagram. Twitter is a whole other thing. Talking politics on Twitter is simply inevitable. Twitter exists for people to argue, preach, and inject politics into EVERY damn thing, from NFL free agency to Disney Star Wars. That’s why I only use Twitter to follow people, not to engage. I don’t really argue politics anywhere online anymore. It’s wonderful.

I no longer post about politics on Facebook, and just as important, I don’t comment on friends’ posts I vehemently disagree with, no matter how ignorant I may consider their views to be. I’m tired of typing 100-word comments and having the other person respond by ignoring everything I just said and/or vomiting whataboutisms back at me. It’s fucking futile. And really, if you despise someone’s views frequently and vehemently, why are you associating with them at all?

So this entry is a simple plea to anyone who will listen. People talk about this issue all the time, but I wanted to share my personal experience. Try this. I promise it feels good, no matter how intensely your urge to proselytize on a daily basis may be. That urge will pass. You will break that fever. Realize the frivolity of expressing your beliefs publicly, understand you’re never going to change anyone’s mind, and go back to talking about the things that won’t cause anger or resentment amongst the people you care about. If you must argue with people, do it with strangers (although, again, the result will still be that nobody changes their mind about anything). And if you truly care THAT much about current events, go out into the world and prove it by running for elected office. That’s it, folks. Have a good day.

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