There are four different types of people when it comes to talking politics on social media:
- Those who love to get on their soapbox and preach,
- Those who call out their friends for sharing their views publicly,
- Those who indirectly make their view clear based on what they comment on or share, and
- Those who quietly observe all of this go down and refrain from participating.
I’m going to be honest and say I fall into the 3rd category. I’m not going to scream from the rooftops what views I support and what party I find myself to be on the side of, but it’s obvious because of the interactions I have with my connections.
It’s not just my political party you could find out about me, though. It’s a lot of other things too. All of this stems from how social media, a platform connecting us with all of our peers from anywhere in the world, gives us the opportunity to share our thoughts, advice, and recommendations at a moment’s notice. From consumerism, to personal life, to politics. It’s all shared but that last one just tends to have a higher likelihood of pissing people off.
So why do I bring this up? Good question. I feel like it’s necessary to address those who fall into the second category. I understand your concern with having to see your friends’ or acquaintances’ views in your social streams. It can make you really think differently of someone. Not that you mean to judge, but having different views and being presented with them in a social atmosphere is frustrating no matter if in person or digitally. So you may naturally feel like instead of responding with a different view, it would be better to let them know you’re not interested in their views at all.
But my belief is that electing the people who run our country (or any other country for that matter) is a very important decision that affects a lot of people. We NEED to make that decision with our American privilege to vote and in order to make a good decision a conversation has to happen, no matter how difficult it might be to have. So if you think about it, the sharing of such pivotal viewpoints is a much healthier thing to be posting than what you had for breakfast or how you hate the new season of Jersey Shore.
This is an exciting moment in our lifetime when it comes to these elections because social media is accelerating word of mouth faster than ever making the learning and information intake of such important issues as easy as waking up every day. Can you really say you don’t know what’s going on with the presidential candidates and what they stand for? Not if you’re on Twitter or Facebook. These addictive networks are consuming our lives to no end, making us lazier and socially inept, but you bet your ass you saw what Joe said about how to grow our economy and Andrea’s problem with equal rights in the workplace.
We are a more informed population because of social media and even if I don’t agree with what all of my social connections stand for politically, I’m not going to shut them down from helping to spread the word. Because no one wins and nothing is going to change if we keep going to the polls completely and totally ignorant.
Just check out this infographic from Vertical Measures of how much social media has changed in even the last four years and how it’s affecting the vote:
Just some thoughts I had. I hope those of your who are eligible are registered to vote and plan to exercise that right this November.