there’s no percentage.

i would say that there is no percentage in posting anything on facebook which might incite political discourse. i have long understood – learned through sometimes painful personal experience – that email was not a good vehicle for discussing personal issues. (in most cases. i have some very highly valued friends with whom i discuss very deep personal issues via email. maybe that’s the key – these are actual real friends, people i know.)

every time i troll my facebook page, there is someone asking me to repost something that is important to them, that they want me to help them share with a wider audience. most of the time, these are issues that only the most hardcore whacko would argue against – things like increased awareness of cancer, etc. but there are so many people asking me to repost their personal issues that i have just made it a personal policy not to do so. maybe that’s mean and uncaring of me, so be it.

but occasionally i make the mistake of reposting a message from an organization like “”, or some radical group like n.p.r., and these rarely fail to rattle someone’s cage, and that someone rarely resists the impulse to set me straight, in no uncertain terms, and guide me off my wayward liberal path. i’ve fallen into the same trap that i have with email “conversations” that inflamed the ire of the other party, and continued to engage, even after it became clear that the “conversation” was not going to change either of our minds.

so from now on, i am going to use facebook with a much smaller scope – use it for what it is really best at: to follow the exploits of friends, to share my own exploits, to publicize blog posts like this one, and to keep tabs on bands, venues and political issues that i find important. i vow not to engage in any more debates on sensitive issues, and to back off any that i find myself embroiled in.

there’s just no percentage in it. unless, of course, ranting back and forth with people you don’t actually even know is what you are after. in that case, rave on.


Author: stephen

stephen harris is a writer, painter and a photographer who lives with his family in maine.

2 thoughts on “there’s no percentage.”

  1. I agree wholeheartedly. There is nothing quite like being told you are undeniably wrong by people you barely know…although, I suppose by accepting facebook friends carefully one could minimize that.

    In another era, we could argue politics with others of different views – back when we did it face to face with people we knew and liked. The anonymity of the interwebs makes us all more likely to attack others and to listen less.

    As for you – I know you are way, way more liberal than I. So I have refrained (mostly at least…if I remember correctly) from commenting on some of your hard core liberal posts. I like you too much to pick a fight over politics. As you say – there is no percentage in it.

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