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Article posted Thursday, March 31, 2011 9:58am

Dear Mary Pat,

I have been on Facebook for a couple of months now since I kept hearing other moms say that they’ve been able to connect with old friends as well as keep up with what’s going on around town, etc. This part is great and I’ve found that to be true. I’ve heard from people who left the county after high school, nearly 30 years ago. It’s been so fun going down memory lane so to speak. What I don’t like though is all the nasty political stuff that gets posted. I think it’s fine that people post their political beliefs, but what I don’t like is how personal and hateful it can be. I saw a friend of a friend post how the ____ party has bleep-ed up our country and then I came across a Facebook page called “Scott Walker is a Douchebag” that has over 35,000 members. I didn’t vote for Walker, but that doesn’t mean I agree with him being attacked in this kind of way. It’s tacky and immature. I just wanted to keep in touch with some friends and maybe see a couple of pictures. I had no idea I’d be exposed to this junk. Is this normal behavior?

Signed,

Enough Already

Sturgeon Bay, WI

Dear Enough Already,

Who’s to say what’s normal anymore? Civility does seem to be dead on Facebook if some of the postings I’ve seen are any indication. I understand that Wisconsin is in the middle of a very contentious situation right now, but I think there is a way to show your support for either side respectfully. Calling your brother a moron gives you instant gratification, but it doesn’t solve anything and it just drags the argument out. Same thing with calling the governor or the president a name. I disagree with my friends about politics all the time. That’s part of living in a democracy. If, however, they were to infer that I’m stupid for believing what I do, I would totally shut down and not listen to their side. Isn’t the old adage you can disagree as long as you are not disagreeable?

I’ve got two pieces of advice for you and they are very simple. Number one is to keep your side of the street clean by not posting anything offensive and it appears you’ve got that one down already. Number two is utilizing the Facebook remove button. If there are certain people who routinely post tacky things, then you can remove their posts on your wall individually or collectively.

Good luck,

Mary Pat