4 Tips for Turning Down the Heat on Social Media

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Do you cringe when you see a friend’s political Facebook posts, memes or tweets? I’ve seen — and unfortunately, participated in — some heated political debates on social media that have turned friends into foes.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You and your social media friendships can survive this election and other contentious issues — gun laws, abortion, religion, etc. — by following these tips:

1. Unfollow

If you have friends who routinely post political rants or share “news” stories that really get your blood boiling, you can choose to ignore them. Or if that’s too difficult, simply unfollow them on Facebook. It’s quick and easy. Just go to their profile, click on “following” and select “unfollow.”

2. Unfriend

Of course, if you really don’t like the person stirring the pot and you disagree with them vehemently on many issues, you may want to unfriend them. I did this with a family member a while back. Although I initially unfollowed them on Facebook, the family member still posted disparaging remarks on my Facebook page and posts. So, I unfriended.

3. Think before you post

If you like to post political content, but don’t want to create unnecessary drama on your social media page, read over your post to ensure that it’s civil and inoffensive. Diane Gottsman, an etiquette expert, author and founder of the Protocol School of Texas, told NBC News:

“It is not that we’re able to express a view, it’s the manner. Keep your tone calm. Make a comment that is a fact but doesn’t have a negative undertone.”

4. Turn it off

If you can’t take the infuriating retweets by your “friend,” take this advice from Louie Villalobos with The Arizona Republic:

“Click on the profile you’re trying to rein in, click on the cog icon, then select ‘Turn off retweets.’ That will take care of much of the political spam you see if you have friends who spend their days retweeting.”

How do you handle your social media friendships when you can’t stand their politics? Sound off below or on our Facebook page.

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