Centralizing Social Media In Politics
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Over the last few months, it has become more common to see a presidential candidate or politician while scrolling through your social media pages than if you were to watch the news. The scope of politics have narrowed down to the scale of our cell phone screens. Nearly every elected official has either a Twitter or Facebook account, including President Obama. (Even Pope Francis has a Twitter!) I would be lying if I said I didn’t occasionally check the tweets of candidates in my party just to see what they are up to and tweeting about. As someone who is interested in politics and is constantly checking social media, why not use this to my advantage when pursuing a candidate? Social media is changing the way people view the news and politics.

But is this a good thing?

Specifically for the upcoming presidential election, candidates have taken to twitter to reach out to constituents, especially young voters, to show a more open and realistic side to them. Unfortunately for many young voters who are just getting into politics and voting, they are only seeing the election and issues from social media, rather than a more factual basis through the reality of the issues. While following a candidate on social media can be more influential than not becoming informed at all, there are many issues and sides of a candidate that cannot be seen solely through social media. It is not beneficial for voters to base their opinions of a candidate on their performance through social media outlets.

It seems that we have come to a point where candidates like Hillary Clinton, doing a performance on "The Ellen Show," or Donald Trump on "Saturday Night Live" is needed to boost election polls rather than increasing debates or campaign events. We have come so far from what politics used to be and have transformed it into a modern media circus.

Maybe taking politics to social media isn’t the best thing for upcoming generations. Trying to get teens off of the centralization of social media has become an increasing topic over the last few years, yet presidential candidates are using that as their sole outlet for reaching these young voters. We shouldn’t center how we view candidates based on how they entertain us or communicate to us through a 140 character tweet. Instead, we should be learning about what candidates are doing outside of social media and seeing if they would be suitable to run the country, not gain followers on Twitter.

When it comes to social media, the fiercest entertainer is the one who gets the attention, not the one with the idolized views. In reference to Donald Trump, most Americans who favor Trump state that they like that he is very open with his thoughts and has no problem vocalizing them. When mixing politics and social media, there tends to be a shift from the important issues to candidates creating a more sociable persona. All in all, the media portrays information to people in a way that makes money and gives good ratings. We should never try to learn the facts of information through social media, but by researching and learning for ourselves. It is definitely nice to see candidates trying to show that they are the relatable and practical choice to vote for, but I would rather see my favored candidate spending their time fixing D.C. rather than doing the “Whip Nae Nae” dance or a late night program skit on television.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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