“Hey guys, you know me…I almost never do this kind of thing.”
With those few words, political common wisdom was overturned today where you’d least expect it: Facebook. Gregory Nurkich, a 29-year-old marketing analyst working in St. Paul, MN, never thought of himself as a rabble-rouser.
“If you follow my Facebook, you know it’s usually just fun videos, updates about work, or pictures of Janine and I taking out the boat.”
“I don’t like to get political here.” But get political he did.
It was something he said he’d never do, which may be why we took him at his word. Facebook is often a destination for spur-of-the-moment, heated debates, usually with a lot of hurt feelings and no clear winner. But despite this—or perhaps because of it—Nurkich has always made a point of keeping his Facebook page a fun, safe space for friends to stay in touch, free of any drama.
Which makes what came next all the more dramatic. It’s unknown whether this feeling had been building for a while, or was simply a spontaneous reaction, but the catalyst of discovering an eye-opening article about the effects of global warming today was enough to make Nurkich turn what we knew about his Facebook wall completely upside down.
First look: The post that changed everything.
“I just saw an article today that really put this whole climate change thing in perspective,” Nurkich’s post read. “Think it’s not going to affect you? Think again. We’re talking about widespread famine, coastal cities becoming uninhabitable, you name it.”
The genie was out of the bottle. Within 30 minutes of Nurkich clicking “Post,” the status update had garnered over two dozen comments from as many as 15 individual users weighing in on climate change, and more urgently, Nurkich’s foray into the political sphere. Eventually, things got so heated that Nurkich himself had to intervene once more, stating:
“Scientific fact is just that—FACT. But I respect your right to hold your own viewpoints, and for now, let’s just agree to disagree.” Despite this call to order, the post continued to receive comments, with five more posted later that evening and an additional two the next day.
Whether this is the end of Nurkich’s newfound role as online political prognosticator or just the very beginning remains to be seen, but you can bet people will be watching. You can delete a Facebook post, but you can’t unring a bell.
“Unrelated,” Nurkich added, “If you haven’t already, please add me on Tetris Battle—both of us get free power-ups, so it’s pretty much a win-win.”