Post-Election Social Media Etiquette

When it comes to celebrating a political triumph, take the high road, rather than mocking your grieving opponents.

Richie Frieman
6-minute read
Episode #409

I’m not sure if anyone noticed, but the US just elected a new president. Eh, who am I kidding—of course we all know that! But not because we all voted, and followed the news until 3 AM but because our “Facebook friends” (a term I use loosely) spent the past few days telling us in detail their political views.  Let me point out, this goes for both parties, winners and losers. Each can be rather brutal towards the other online.

Facebook has become the breeding ground for some rather improper opinions about the election, with posts about outrage and frustration. As goes with normal Facebook rants, the election has divided Facebook “friends” all thanks to snarky posts.  So, before you try to come up with the wittiest way to sting your friends online, check out my three etiquette rules for social media after the election:

Tip #1: The 'I Told You So' Post

I simply can’t stand the 'I told you so' post. Not only for the obvious reasons (being juvenile and bratty) but because it’s everything a manners guru like myself points to when proving my favorite point: manners matter.  It didn’t take long for the 'I Told You So' posts to pile up on our Facebook walls. I mean, before even a quarter of the states were in, both sides were already posting with 'I Told You So,' and as it went on, one side delivered the message much more often. However, the ultimate influx of rude 'I Told You So' posts came right after the big announcement was dropped about our new president. It didn’t even take 10 seconds before the world was inundated with these posts. Let’s be honest, is that really the best way to get back at someone? In a world where we have such beautiful languages, why go with the cheesiest of cheesy quotes? I hate to break it to you, but an 'I Told You So' post is about as baseless as it gets.

Don’t get me wrong, I can see why an 'I Told You So' post would feel good. After all, I was once fourteen too and played video games. So when I would defeat my buddy in Nintendo, I enjoyed blasting them with, “I told you so!” Yet I was a child, and not the esteemed gentleman you see now, Mannerly Nation. Get where I’m going with this? So, in the world of being an adult and being a professional, why would you let your ego get the best of you by stooping to such a low level of using an “I Told You So Post” in politics? Politics is not like sports, where you can playfully trash talk a friend about your team being better, or troll on social media with clever memes. Politics is in many ways a religion, which people take very seriously and by saying “I Told You So” only makes your argument less credible. We know you won. We know you are happy, but with politics, the feelings don’t go away as easy. Why not rather simply post something with pride instead? How about an image of your candidate or a news link announcing the win? Add in your feelings of course, but just don’t go the immature route.

Tip #2: Poking Fun at Sorrow

Who doesn’t like an awkward photo of someone to put a situation in perspective? Take a bad photo of a group of people crying over a loss, add a never-as-funny-as-planned statement in bold font, then—WHAMO—you’re a comedian. It takes about ten seconds to create and only five seconds to reach every one of your Facebook friends.  Now, let me say, that I do believe that when it comes to politicians, you have a right to mock individuals who lust after power. Take Anthony Weiner for example. That’s open season and a given. Mock away!  However, when it comes to the presidential race, one thing I can’t stand is when Facebookers posting fun at other parties crying and grieving after a loss.  As well, if you’re trying to be “funny,” where’s the creativity in posting a photo of said group crying with the tagline, “ONLY LOSERS CRY”? That’s not funny, that’s ignorant. But let me guess, they deserved it, right? C’mon, people.