For the last few months, I have been waiting for the election to end. Not so much because I was eager to know the outcome (I wasn’t particularly crazy about either candidate), but more for the ads, phone calls, and social media rants to end.
In elections past, before the days of Facebook, I couldn’t tell you where most of my friends stood on the political spectrum. There were no “like” buttons and I didn’t have to listen to a political rant unless I tuned into a talk radio station or was in the presence of someone speaking about a candidate. But now thanks to social media, I now know how hundreds of my friends feel about Obamacare, abortion, gay marriage, Big Bird, the Middle East, horses and bayonets, marijuana legalization and more.
Sometimes I read and saw a lot more than I would’ve liked to. If I see one more person threaten to leave the country or post another Sesame Street meme I’m going to scream. My news feeds were constantly filled with political chatter, and it was negative more often than not.
During this election I realized how politically fired up some of the people I care about really are. Before social media I had no idea that they were total right or left-wing whack-jobs who had so much to say that they felt compelled to write a 400-word Facebook status every single day.
Many times I wanted to add to my “Most Annoying People on Facebook” list, and a few times I even considered unfriending. I didn’t, reminding myself that everyone is entitled to their opinion and that it’ll be over soon.
I was not alone in considering to unfriend people. According to a Mashable poll of 2,772 people, the majority of voters (46%) couldn’t take it anymore and unfriended someone during this election. Like me, 32% thought about it but didn’t, and 22% didn’t even consider it.