You may have strong political opinions, but new research finds that those hardcore rants you’ve been posting on Facebook lately just might be losing you some friends in your social media circle.

Joseph Burns, a professor of communication at Southeastern Louisiana University recently conducted a study where he asked 24 of his friends (half Democrats and half Republicans) about why they posted their political beliefs on social media sites.

What he found is that most people post to point out misconceptions, combat the media and share their personal views, while more than half say they believe their posts can change the outcome of how some will vote.

“My friends who believed they were having an effect said they hoped to encourage people to follow their lead,” said Burns. “A number generally agreed with one friend’s statement that ‘You can sway people’s voting decisions based on good, factual discussions.’ They wanted to bring to the table an angle that others may not have considered or to ‘strike a chord with those who may not agree but are open to interesting ideas.’”

Unfortunately, a swayed decision did not happen. Instead, Burns found that most people who responded to political postings either argued their position or simply unfriended the poster as a means to keep from fighting.

Burns added that most of the respondents in his study said they would likely stop posting about politics after the election is over.

[Business News Daily]