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Opinion and Editorial

Would You Unfollow?

These past few months have had Americans on edge. With so much political tension between Americans, it’s no surprise that people are a little more that irritated at each other. Social media appears to be where many peoples’ frustrations are boiling over. Before Donald Trump was elected into the Presidential office, it seemed that more and more people kept getting into arguments about Trump vs. Hillary and why each candidate is a terrible person.

Fast-forward to post-election America. Donald Trump has won the election and the people are protesting. The neo-Nazi and alt-right seem to be doing everything in their power to grab the attention of the media. People are protesting everything and anything in society right now. While some people can’t go in person, the next best thing is to post online. It’s almost becoming the norm to have your timelines full of politics.

This brings me to the question, “Is it okay to unfriend or unfollow someone if they have a different political view than yours?” Lets, be honest it’s not like some of us haven’t unfollowed or unfriended someone for different petty reasons. The difference this time around, is that there are a lot more politically charged reasons behind unfriending someone.

I, myself, am guilty of having unfriended someone on Facebook, but I had a slight grudge towards the person since meeting them. Aside from that one person, I did find myself unfriending a handful of people because they supported Trump. Albeit, I really wasn’t personal friends with them, but I still found it odd that I was so quick to click that unfriend button. I wondered if my animosity towards Trump caused me to unconsciously unfriend those who voted for him. It might be because I believe they share the same ideology as Trump.

So, I took to social media and asked my followers and friends the same question I asked before, “Is it okay to unfriend/unfollow someone if they have a different political view than yours?” On Twitter, I asked that question. I gave my followers four different options: yes, no, indifferent, or only if they seem radical or extreme.

The responses the tweet got had an almost surprising result. The majority of people voted they would unfollow someone only if they had a more radical political view than theirs. So unless you’re promoting Nazism or shoving some extreme liberal agenda down people’s throat, you’re in the clear.

I asked the same question on Facebook. Since Facebook allows you to respond to a post with more than 140 characters, I decided to let people respond with whatever they wanted. Although, it wasn’t exactly what you would have expected from Facebook. I had people respond with that, since it’s their account, they can do whatever they want. I also had others reply that they would only do it if they feel that the person is voting against their human rights.

This leaves the question sitting in a grey area of what is a valid excuse to want to unfollow or unfriend someone.

So I leave you with the question to ask yourself “Is it okay to unfriend or unfollow someone if they have a different political view than yours?”

Share your thoughts below in the comments!