The Culture Of Opinion Sharing
Politics and Activism

The Culture Of Opinion Sharing

Are interactions on social media following the recent election producing any results?

275
Alphacoders.com

I really didn’t want to write about the election this week. Yes, it’s a huge deal, our country has declared a new president who will foreseeably be with us for the next four years, and this man has said extremely offensive and frankly scary things about practically everyone besides straight, white, wealthy men (of which he happens to be), but already nearly every perspective on the matter has been expressed and my personal opinion, which I typically try not to involve in my writing, is relatively obsolete. As a white, upper-middle-class, queer woman I do have some reasons to be concerned about Trump as president, but not nearly as many as other people, and by writing this I’m merely contributing to a culture of self-importance which ultimately drowns out the voices of those who are legitimately affected.

Clark University, the school I am proud to attend, is extremely liberal and as such, took the results of the election extremely hard. Each of my professors spoke about the results, one leading us through yoga exercises to relieve stress, another discussing the ideology that led to Trump’s success, a third moved to tears the morning after the election. Outside of class, everyone I know is talking about the election and many people have taken to social media to voice their opinions. While in many cases these posts are heartfelt, empathetic, and open-minded, many are very much not so. I have seen a number of hateful posts toward Trump supporters, people who didn’t vote, and people who voted for third party candidates, and while many people are sharing stories of hate crimes and violence in Trump’s name, others are sharing stories of attacks on Trump supporters; the hate goes both ways. One sentiment I personally felt and have seen repeated again and again is outright shock regarding Trump’s win, raising the question, how did this happen?

Checking the results of the election for the first time, I could hardly believe it; everything I had seen on social media and nearly everyone I had talked to in person believed Hillary would win. The misnomer was that while the popular personalities speaking online were for the most part anti-Trump, as were most millennial perspectives I saw on social media, many of the people who voted for Trump seem not to have been very vocal about it over the Internet. The term I’ve heard recently is “the silent majority”, and in this culture where sharing opinions virtually is so popular and widespread especially amongst younger people, this created an atmosphere of dissonance where popular opinion seemed to be one way and was, in reality, another. Further, people tend to be exposed to opinions that they already believe online within their social circles, most not going out of their way to find contrary opinions. While access to a variety of opinions may be increased in the digital age, exposure has not necessarily followed.

I see the use of social media as public and widespread forums for discussion as an extremely positive thing, but with this election, it has raised some questions for me personally regarding the worth of this method of sharing. People have strongly held beliefs, post about them online, and then interact with others who see their posts and feel the need to comment, often resulting in either total agreement or heated arguments. Odyssey itself advertises as an opinion sharing platform and I fully expect for my Facebook feed to be flooded with shared articles in the next few days, but are peoples’ minds really being changed or are we simply reaffirming our own beliefs by running every opinion we see through our preexisting code of values? The truth is somewhere in the middle and as far as I can see a little empathy goes a long way in the aftermath of this election.

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

Founders Of Color Q&A: Yarlap's MaryEllen Reider On Destigmatizing Women's Health

The father-daughter duo co-founded the brand and has since generated a passionate, dedicated community of women.

MaryEllen Reider

I was lucky enough to meet MaryEllen Reider over a decade ago as a fellow freshman in college. Since then, I had the luxury of being able to witness her evolution from the faithful companion I went to my first job fair with to the woman who is now a pioneer in destigmatizing the portrayal of women's reproductive health.

Keep Reading... Show less

My favorite Editor was feeling under the weather yesterday. All I wanted was to make her a vegan iced matcha latte. With distance forbidding it, I instead decided to write up this quick, easy recipe. I made it to be vegan and organic for optimal health benefits.

Matcha green tea is made from grounded green tea leaf and it comes with the most antioxidant boost ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

This coffee brand is USDA organic. Newman's Own Keurig coffee flavors are all organic. They have French Roast, Decaf, and a Special Blend. I'm in a committed relationship with the French Roast flavor. The smell alone from dispensing 1 cup of coffee sets a whole cafe jazz vibe.

I'm already relaxed when I smell the coffee all ready for dressing. The way I make my coffee is simple and sweet, literally. I add a spoon of organic brown sugar and a splash of organic almond vanilla milk. This cup of coffee has changed my life forever. I have never been so productive in my life and I truly believe it's because the coffee is organic.

Keep Reading... Show less

These organic, cruelty-free skincare products are great for hot, sweaty summers. I use them every day, so you will find my honest opinion about them all. I highly recommend using organic products because they are least likely to be harmful to your body.

This may seem like an extra step when it comes to your beauty routine, but it's really easy. These 5 products could be the start of your next beauty venture.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These 5 Black Handbag Designers Should Be On Every Accessory Lover's Radar

With the push to support more Black-owned businesses, we've put together a list of Black owned handbag designers.

Ever since the current upheaval of societal silence happening in the country caused by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, there has been a bigger push for people to support Black-owned businesses.

Granted, there are a lot fo Black-owned businesses to support, it just takes time to find them. With that being said, fashion is a sector, just like any sector really, in a culture that still has people of color calling out for more diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Therapy Dogs Aren't Just Cute, They're Working

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

There are many different ways people overcome obstacles in their lives. Thankfully, the stigma surrounding therapy is slowly (but surely) slipping away and we're opening up about our problems and needs. For some, a good workout is just as relaxing. Others are learning how meditation can be a helpful tool in their mental health journey.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments