It’s that time of year… Let’s talk politics. You choose one side, and I’ll choose the other. It’ll be fun. (But not really…)
I read a post yesterday about how someone was amazed by how they could feel so different from their friends, neighbors and co-workers on certain issues, and how the divide in US politics seems to have widened more and more in recent years.
To some degree, I blame the Internet for this (supposed) widening of the gap. By that I mean, I think people being able to freely and easily post (to a worldwide audience) their beliefs has made these divisions more apparent.
Ten years ago you’d probably have to go to a specific political forum on the Internet to get into politics, and maybe five years ago it was political blogging that let people spew their beliefs freely, but now, with the recent rise of things like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and other sharing tools, it’s way to easy to determine someone’s beliefs. In some cases a single photo, or even a post of less than 140 characters, is all it takes to determine the political affiliations a co-worker or acquaintance has. Are posts the new bumper stickers and yard signs?
Times were, you didn’t discuss politics at work… and while that may still hold true in many places (and I think it should in many places) it’s become fairly easy to determine the beliefs of others by what they say online, unless they say nothing, or are selective in what they say… which for some of us, is pretty damn hard.