Do Political Posts on Facebook Change Anyone's Mind?
Like past election seasons, popular memes chiding those who post political articles and comments are currently circulating on Facebook and other social media sites. There are several variations of the memes, but all have the same overall point: no one changes their mind because of political posts on social media.
Except people do change their minds because of political posts they see on social media.
Of course, political posts can be annoying; there's no denying that. In fact, on some days, I'll change that "can be" to "are." That truth, however, does not mean that political posts don't play a role in helping people form or reform their opinions. I know this to be true both anecdotally and because of the very nature of dialogue.
Having a writing job, especially during an election season, means that I post about politics on my social media sites more frequently than most of my other friends. And I'm sure that many of my friends are fairly sick of the seemingly never-ending stream of politics oozing from my Facebook wall. I'm sure of this, because some of them have told me that they're sick of my political posts. Which is fine; there are days when I agree with them. Many other friends, however, have told me that something that I posted caused them to reevaluate an opinion and then alter that opinion.
Now, lest there be any misunderstanding, I am under no delusion (ok, maybe a little) that my thoughts and expressions of opinions are a frequent contributor to the changing of minds. Evidence, however, does point to the reality that from time to time a political post that I've shared or have even written has contributed, at the least, to the shifting of opinions. Further, I know from my own experience that articles and comments shared by my friends have played a role in the formation of my politics.