In 2018, we are facing a radically different reality than many of us could have expected a decade ago. An oft-observed statistic is the jaw-dropping rate of polarization that is taking place in the United States.
This polarization is precisely why expressing your view can land you in some hot water with friends in your social network.
The story is all-too-familiar. While scrolling through my Facebook timeline, I see a friend share a classic baby-boomer meme; something about blocking the next person who posts something they find disagreeable on their wall.
The meme features a confused-looking Minion and a font that would protect aging readers from eye strain. It’s almost as share-worthy as “send this to all your friends if you remember drinking water straight from the hose!”
My recommendation for maintaining a good relationship with the person antagonizing others for expressing their beliefs on a platform where they can reach the largest audience? Tag them in your next political post!
That’s the real baller move, and it will prove to the unsuspecting ‘friend’ that you and you alone are the wielder of BDE.
All joking aside, it shouldn’t be a cause for massive concern if people no longer want to be my internet buddy because I post about the things that matter to me. It shouldn’t worry you either. Standing up for what is right is bound to make some people uncomfortable, that’s the point.
If fighting discrimination against POC, women, immigrants, the LGBT community, and other marginalized people is too incendiary, feel free to mash that ‘Unfriend’ button, fam.
In my own experience, I had to take a hard look at my own worries about upsetting people I barely know. Why should I worry if the guy I spent a tiny portion of my life with during Basic Training (over 4 years ago) is upset that I call the president out on his bullshit? Why should I care if some dude I saw at a barbecue once thinks I’m too outspoken and need to “tone it down?” Why should any of us give in to that noise?
Don’t be deterred from doing the right thing, just because it’s unpopular with a few people. In 2018 there are real battles worth being fought, and I can’t afford to waste my energy skirmishing with every Minion on Facebook or every MAGA hat on Twitter.