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Election is coming: How to bring harmony into family group chats

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, January 17, 2019  /  08:07 am
Election is coming: How to bring harmony into family group chats

It is possible to avoid fights between family members caused by different political perspectives expressed in family group chats. (Shutterstock/File)

As the presidential election draws near, “clashes” between supporters of the two candidates not only happen in social media but also in family group chats such as on WhatsApp.

Different political views in group chats may lead to feuds among their members in real life. If this also happens in your family, Devie Rachmawati, an expert in social, culture and communications at the University of Indonesia, advised family members to think about the long-term effect.

“Don’t sacrifice something in the short-run that will influence you in the long-run,” Devie told kompas.com on Tuesday.

Read also: Time to leave? Hoaxes thrive in WhatsApp group chats

It is necessary for the group to set some rules on social media like WhatsApp. The group should only discuss family matters, while other unrelated topics can be discussed in different groups. It is also suggested members avoid or minimize family feuds caused by different perspectives.

“You need to remember that when you pass away, your family will be the ones who attend your funeral ceremony, not the candidates [of elections],” said Devie.

However, if a feud has already erupted in your family, Devie suggested one of the family members rekindle relations by initiating communications. Perhaps the conversation may feel awkward at first, but it will flow more smoothly as time goes by.

“Trust me, we will soon forget [about the feud],” Devie said. “But the most difficult thing is the initiative: Who will begin the conversation?” (wir/kes)