Let’s Don’t Talk Politics, Please

I screwed up this week.    When I started doing a lot of socializing,  I made a conscious decision Not to get into discussions about politics.    And for quite a long stretch I managed that quite well.   It’s not that I never express any political opinions,  so much as that I try hard mostly to talk about other things.

I have strong political opinions.    I think most people do.   But in my experience all too often when people talk about political things online,  it all too often descends from basic disagreement to name-calling to flame war.    I am a veteran of many flame wars.   And to be perfectly honest,  I don’t want to do flames anymore.   In my experience flame wars ruin threads for most users and if a site, a group or a forum suffers from repeated and persistent flame wars,  it will almost certainly lose users until it becomes no longer viable.   And in all honesty,  I have only very rarely seen anyone’s mind changed about a political issue in an online debate.

There was a time when my online social life revolved around dating sites for gay men.    But since bonding with my partner,  those sites really bored me.    I have been involved in various online political and blogging related groups (and have seen many formerly great hangouts flame warred away.    So I try not to get into political discussions.   It helps that I often hang out with people from other countries,  who generally are not interested in getting into discussions of US politics.  But I have many friends here in the US too,  and being human I slipped up and got into the kind of discussion that I really try to avoid getting into.   I’m happy to discuss most anything,  but I’d really appreciate it if we DON’T talk about politics.

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5 comments on “Let’s Don’t Talk Politics, Please

  1. I have experienced quite a bit of a similar thing with politics. Good discussions can happen, but I have found that political discussions are best kept with the strongest friendships. People like to believe their online friendships can do this dance, but sadly discover overly heated statements quickly send shocks and ripples, causing hard feelings. It is best to save those conversations for those closest. Sometimes people are so tied into what they believe, their goal is to change or make another person to see it their way. This rarely works. It is better to just let people read, explore and determine for themselves what truth may be. It takes strength in a person to allow this in others. You have that and it is one of the things that I truly find endearing about you. We do not always have to agree. We just need to dare to care enough to allow differs views. You are awesome!

    • You know, Janice, when I think about it I don’t even talk about politics with my closest friends any more. I almost feel as though I’ve just kind of given up on ever trying to change anyone’s mind and I am so happy to talk about less divisive things.

  2. Pingback: Making Other Plans | Libdrone's Thoughts and Musings

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