Voluntary Facebook Friend Purges

Dale Carnegie wrote a famous book called How to Win Friends and Influence People. The title suggests that the more friends you have, the more influence you have.

Something I have seen from many friends since 2016 is messages about how they are cutting off ties with anyone on the political right.

Bad far-right actors mobbed the US Capitol last night. The violence scared me, and it scared people around the world who want to believe in the American Dream. After the traumatic attack, I saw one of my Facebook friends making the statement again last night.

Like most Americans, I am a Facebook user. I learn from keeping many “friends.” I understand that many of them are not actually friends providing emotional support to me, but I get to see lots of heartfelt statements from both sides of the political divide. This helps me understand how statements from media figures are landing with the public.

I hope that people will stop intentionally reducing their own spheres of influence. For better or worse, lots of people are getting news from their Facebook friends.

Incidentally, our EWED blog is blocked on Facebook. Any help with getting Facebook to allow us to share links is appreciated.

I borrow from a summary of Carnegie’s advice:

Win people to your way of thinking

1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

2. Show respect for the other person’s opinions.

Point 6 is to “Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.”

Of course, there are legitimate reasons for “blocking” users and social media accounts. I hope to hear less bragging about deliberate complete purges of any viewpoints.

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