When Friends’ Postings Surprise or Shock Us

Have you ever been surprised or even horrified by one of your friend’s Facebook postings about politics?

If so, you’re not alone.  According to the Pew Internet & American Life project, 73% of social networking site (SNS) users “only sometimes” agree or never agree with their friends’ political postings.

And while they may disagree with their friends, a 68% majority keeps quiet about it. Further, some 38% of SNS users said they have discovered through a friend’s posts that his or her political beliefs differed from their own.

In its survey, completed in February 2012, the Pew project also found that 80% of adults use the Internet and 66% use social networking sites. In addition, Pew reported that 75% of SNS users say their friends post at least some content related to politics and 37% of SNS users themselves post political material at least occasionally.

The survey “shows that many friendships are not centered on political discussion and that many networks are not built with ideological compatibility as a core organizing principle,” according to Pew.

However, while most friends are willing to look the other way with respect to their friends’ postings, some 18% of SNS site users said they have blocked, unfriended or hidden someone for posting something they disagreed with or found offensive.

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