JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Have you lost friends over political posts on social media?
That’s the question News4Jax asked on social media, and the response was overwhelming -- but not too surprising -- given the current political atmosphere.
Even News4Jax political analyst Rick Mullaney was not surprised to hear about strained relationships within families over things that have been posted on social media.
“Unfortunately, a lot of relationships are being damaged by politics today, and many people -- and I’m one them -- believe the partisan divide today is as bad as any in our lifetime," Mullaney said.
Hundreds of people responded to News4Jax’s question, including Michelle Rautio-Sloan, who responded via Facebook video chat. She said political posts on social media have damaged relationships with people she personally knows.
On Facebook, Mary wrote: “I have lost friendships over them. Some friends and family have gotten so belligerent on both political sides that I have lost respect for them.”
Shara wrote: “I’ve definitely muted several friends and family members. I can appreciate differing views, but some people are way too extreme.”
On Twitter, Sara said politics has turned into something so divisive that it’s just no longer politics.
And on Instagram, Johnny wrote: “If I lost friends over politics, were they really friends to begin with?”
It’s also worth pointing out that some people who responded to News4Jax’s question were attacked by others with opposing views.
“I believe the partisan divide today is the worst of my lifetime," Mullaney said. "I’m sure many people watching this know of a circumstance in which they have decided to no longer have a political discussion at the dining room table.”
The question now is whether this will end once this current election cycle is over?
“I don’t think this election period is going to end well most of the country," Rautio-Sloan said. “I think it’s just going to lead to more arguing and more tension."
According to the Pew Research Center, 55% of United States social media users say they are worn out by political posts and discussions.