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Behind The Ballot: Staying Friends During The Political Season

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(credit: CBS) Edgar Linares
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Staying friends during the political season can be challenging, especially if you share different views as your friends.

One popular place people are post their thoughts on topics or candidates is on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. Oftentimes, a comment made about gay marriage or who should take over the presidential office results in a firestorm of debate that can turn ugly quickly.

“We have a lot of co-workers who will post stuff online and you’ll see like 40 comments where it’s just back and forth arguing over issues,” said Kristin Labat, a republican voter.

Labat says she tries to stays clear of political topics on her Facebook page after seeing what has happened to others.

“I just don’t think social media is the appropriate place for small scale arguments,” said Labat.

Others disagree, saying social media is a perfect place to let off some steam or to get a good debate going.

“I feel like that’s one of the only places I can post whatever I want to,” said Briana Perry, a democratic voter.

A survey done by the Pew Research Center shows 18 percent of adults say they have blocked, unfriended or hidden updates from a friend because of a political post. Thirty-seven percent of people who posted political content got negative reactions.

So how should you talk politics?

Here are some tips according to ehow.com. They say there are five ways to take on politics in a friendly manner:

1. Gently explain to others why you believe the things you do and let them voice their opinions.
2. Laugh your way through the discussion. Don’t be rude, be humorous. Lighten the mood.
3. Stop before it gets too heated. Are you willing to end your relationship with a family member or co-worker because you’re going for Romney or Obama?
4. Involve others in the discussion. Often times a third party can help the situation.
5. After you’ve finished your discussion, hug it out and change the subject.

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