If your Facebook news feed is brimming with unhinged political gibberish right around now—especially at the hands of those out-of-state relatives—don’t despair.
Actually, don’t hold back. As one expert explains, though it’s almost impossible to witness someone’s opinion changing in real time on social media, that doesn’t make all efforts at persuasion hopeless. “Even though people may not change their minds instantaneously, your comments can influence someone’s sense of coherence in their beliefs,” says psychologist Art Markman. Don’t be deceived by the explosiveness of social media chatter—it’s really a steady war of attrition.