One of my favourites took place at a lunch I attended with a group of friends sometime after the Westminster Parliamentary elections in 2015. Two of the company had been close friends for many years but had fallen out over the enthusiastic posting of their (diametrically opposed) political views on Facebook. One had grown so incensed over reading posts that he disagreed with so strongly that he had ‘unfriended’ his long standing friend on the social media site. I was sitting between them both at the lunch table and suggested that to ensure we had an enjoyable lunch, the subject of politics should be banned from conversation. One, the SNP supporter smiled sweetly, reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a map of Scotland which glowed yellow from all constituency areas bar three and just asked “isn’t this map a nice colour?” before refolding it and getting on with the business of lunch. He had made his point.
This incident made me think about how sad it was that such long standing friends had fallen out over their use of social media. It also made me question the content of my Facebook feed which is usually filled with friendly photographs of friends’ holidays, children and pets. There are lots of recipes and home tips advertised and people commenting on stories and current events around the world in the countries where my connections live. I usually flick through my Facebook feed several times a week. While I love to remain connected to friends, I do not spend a lot of time there.
In the run up to the Holyrood elections, I noticed that anytime I looked at my Facebook feed, Ruth Davidson was there with an election advertisement. None of the other political candidates tried to attract my attention on Facebook. It is a new way of doing things and I wonder if the other parties have missed a trick? Ruth Davidson is my new MSP so it appears to have worked well for her.
Felicity MacFarlane is an Account Director as Indigo