And as people’s online social circles grow, opinions once known only to a few ripple out to shores previously unimagined. Austin Walters is well aware of Facebook’s wide reach. He’s a Romney supporter who was dating a woman from a liberal family. The Harvard Business School student posted a negative analysis of “Obamacare” that was read by his then-girlfriend’s politically active and engaged relatives.
“How can you put up with this?” several of them asked her.
But no one said anything to him, Walters added. “We all got along great in person.”
Hard as it can be to keep quiet, people don’t fire back online for all sorts of reasons. Recent college graduate Alexis Jasek says she has been surprised and annoyed by a former supervisor’s anti-Obama screeds, but she’s disciplined herself not to respond.
“I still want to use him for references,” she said.