As journalists we are trained not to let our beliefs and opinions slip into the news we share with viewers.
As you read that last sentence you were all “Oh yeah, what about FOX News and CNN?”.
I’ll be honest, being unbiased and keeping my personal beliefs and opinions silent is incredibly hard to do during an election year, but I tend to exercise the same restraint with friends and collegues.
It’s harder to do with no shortage of big opinions and beliefs being shared on social media, facebook is kind of a relationship killer right now.
Look, people are going to want to talk about what’s going on- ISIS, terrorism, gun rights, mental health, and any number of presidential hopefuls.
I have a TV in my office streaming breaking news, and no fewer than half a dozen people have come in, seen what’s on tv grabbed a seat and talked politics.
Some share my similar beliefs, some do not.
I’m sure you’re navigating these talks with colleges and friends. Of course you are, it is top of mind for everyone right now.
Do your best to proceed with caution as you gather around the lunch table or the water cooler (do offices still have water coolers?).
Unless of course it is actually your job to provide editorial content for a news organization- then by all means, engage.
Here’s how I have been reacting when friends and colleges talk to me about the current state of our country, a conversation that brings up all sorts of feelings of fear and anxiety.
.. and then
Deflect. I typically try to talk about kids, Christmas parties, and cats, when all else fails.
It’s not that I do not want to share my beliefs and ideas, I just try to save that conversation for my inner circle. And I like to keep it light at happy hour and in the workplace.
If this divisive election and these difficult times inspire people to be more engaged and tuned in to the world around them, that’s got to be a good thing.