On social media, politics and friendships

Published October 23, 2021, 12:05 AM

by Alex M. Eduque

ITS THE SMALL THINGS

Alex Eduque

Lately, my social media feed has been filled with many things political. Whether it be colors, outright promoting a candidate, satire, memes, you name it. And then, there are comments from followers, people, and friends. I admittedly only glance upon them, not unless something catches my attention which more often than not, is a negative reaction, feedback, or some sort of dispute. It is election season after all, and emotions tend to rise with it. In as much as it is our right to let our voices be heard, and to espouse our feelings and truths, we must also be mindful of the audience we are sharing such information with. Sensitivities will be remembered long after the elections are over.

I find it so sad to say the very least when friendships cease and end over political dispute. And it happens. Needless to say, I have been witness to this one to many times. People have different political stand and view points in the same way that the degree of individual involvement amongst us even in the same circle can differ significantly. We have our own reasons, and while it is very much okay to debate and to discuss, we must not forget that sometimes, it is okay to agree to disagree – this is an instance where it can save so much.

As a political science major, my mind has been conditioned to always remember that politics is the play of power – at the very least, it comes hand in hand. This is perhaps the broadest definition that encapsulates and takes into consideration the view points of most political scientists. This is also sometimes the root cause of why politics, entering it, and all that is a part of the political world has garnered such a stigma and elicits negative sentiments from people – it is inevitable that being in a seat of power has its perks. Having said that though, like most things in this world, politics and power are fleeting as well. Terms come to an end, and what goes up, must come down. Friendships however, do not have to be temporary. The rare and most cherished of kinds can be forever.

And these are precisely the kinds of friendships that we need, especially in our lives today as we continue to thread and navigate uncertainty. We need to cherish the kinds of friendships that know how to forgive, and most importantly, the ones that live and thrive on respect. The ones that can differentiate and that can distinguish right from wrong. Most importantly, we must protect the friendships that we know will be around long after the clamor and the celebration – the ones that will stay with us even at rock bottom, and will help us become the best version of ourselves.

The next time you have the compulsion to argue with someone online – politically motivated, or not – think twice and ask yourself if it is worth it. You will do yourself a favor, I promise.

 
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