Story map: Families, friendships, communities strained by politics

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Election years don’t always bring out the best in us. Every two years — and especially every four — Americans are confronted with a red-blue divide that polarizes the candidates and the public. Radio and television have long provided echo chambers for the best and worst of political rhetoric, but the Internet and social media have allowed regular people to state and share their opinions to a wide audience of friends, family and neighbors.

The Public Insight Network is collaborating with This American Life to find out how political divisions affect not our government, but Americans’ everyday lives. More than 500 people have shared their stories of strained relationships with us so far — and you might hear some of those stories on the radio later this month. We’ve plotted on this map many of the stories we’ve heard. Together, they paint a picture of a social fabric under tremendous strain from the pressures of the political season. [More stories here]

Click around the stories (a link to a full-screen version is below the map) or explore them by category (at the bottom of the map). Some include audio and photos.

Then take a moment to share your own experience. If you give us permission to publish it, we might add it to the map.

View How politics is straining our relationships in a full-screen map.

>> Share your story: How do political divisions affect your relationships?