Political Involvement Requires More Than Social Media Posts

Political Involvement Requires More Than Social Media Posts

To be an active member of the tumultuous political society requires a conscious, constant effort.
254
views

You log onto Twitter and amidst the memes that make you chuckle and the vine threads you could spend forever scrolling through, there lies a seemingly misplaced political tweet with only a few likes and many capital letters and exclamation points. We’ve all been there: sometimes it's Twitter, other times it's Facebook. People post their heated rants with the thought they will change opinions, and we continue scrolling.

It makes sense that these posts are in abundance. Older generations have scorned our generation for not being politically active, and we have platforms to share our views right at our fingertips. So uploading our ideas to the site of our choosing seems like a step up. But we are going about it all the wrong way.

To begin with, there is an overwhelming amount of counterproductive name-calling that further polarizes individuals from opposing parties, discouraging bipartisan thoughts—the thoughts that accomplish goals and bring much-needed compromise. The mudslinging comes from both sides. The right shames the left, the left shames the right, and so on. Internal conflicts also arise, turning those with common goals against each other.

Following the name calling, a slew of opinions without facts to back them up litter our feeds. With sparse information to backup harsh insults, friends with differing viewpoints are enraged while friends with similar thoughts remain unchanged. So you watched the news for twenty minutes and heard one company broadcast one headline. You are not an expert. A lot of your friends have stopped reading the feisty rant.

What progress has been made? Those who liked your post already thought exactly the same way. Little progress has been made in that regard. Acquaintances that fall into the grouping of people you bashed find themselves upset and dismissive of your views (and quite possibly your friendship). Others disregarded your post entirely, and the audience you can reach grows smaller.

Yet, you smile. Your duty as an attentive citizen has been taken care of.

As a fellow young adult in today's social media driven society, I urge you to reexamine your political involvement.

Have you looked at sources from multiple vantage points? Have you challenged your own opinions by turning to media that caters to an audience that is not your own? Have you tried having an adult conversation with someone you disagree with?

That means no name calling, listening to what the other has to say and using facts to back up what you believe.

If you are screaming from the mountain tops for change and wonder how it will come about, ask yourself the following: have you called your senators or congressmen? Have you written letters to government officials or lobbying agencies? I'm not saying you must. We all have busy lives with a vast array of priorities. I would be hypocritical saying you must. But if you sit there scratching your head, wondering what you have the power to do, there's a start. There are many more activities to participate in; only a little research on your part is necessary.

What I am asking you is to reconsider your political involvement, and to think before you post. Are you merely hitting “tweet” and checking off a duty on your to-do list? Is what you are adding to the never-ending landscape of the internet productive?

To be an active member of the tumultuous political society requires a conscious, continuous effort. It requires one to keep up with current events, perform a bit of research and hold engaged discussions on pressing topics. The world needs the younger voting population to take an interest in politics. The world needs those interested to educate themselves.

Don't be quiet. Be smart. Inform yourself, and when you speak up, your voice will pack a punch.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

Popular Right Now

'As A Woman,' I Don't Need To Fit Your Preconceived Political Assumptions About Women

I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

40965
views

It is quite possible to say that the United States has never seen such a time of divisiveness, partisanship, and extreme animosity of those on different sides of the political spectrum. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are saturated with posts of political opinions and are matched with comments that express not only disagreement but too often, words of hatred. Many who cannot understand others' political beliefs rarely even respect them.

As a female, Republican, college student, I feel I receive the most confusion from others regarding my political opinions. Whenever I post or write something supporting a conservative or expressing my right-leaning beliefs and I see a comment has been left, I almost always know what words their comment will begin with. Or in conversation, if I make my beliefs known and someone begins to respond, I can practically hear the words before they leave their mouth.

"As a woman…"

This initial phrase is often followed by a question, generally surrounding how I could publicly support a Republican candidate or maintain conservative beliefs. "As a woman, how can you support Donald Trump?" or "As a woman, how can you support pro-life policies?" and, my personal favorite, "As a woman, how did you not want Hillary for president?"

Although I understand their sentiment, I cannot respect it. Yes, being a woman is a part of who I am, but it in no way determines who I am. My sex has not and will not adjudicate my goals, my passions, or my work. It will not influence the way in which I think or the way in which I express those thoughts. Further, your mention of my sex as the primary logic for condemning such expressions will not change my adherence to defending what I share. Nor should it.

To conduct your questioning of my politics by inferring that my sex should influence my ideology is not only offensive, it's sexist.

It disregards my other qualifications and renders them worthless. It disregards my work as a student of political science. It disregards my hours of research dedicated to writing about politics. It disregards my creativity as an author and my knowledge of the subjects I choose to discuss. It disregards the fundamental human right I possess to form my own opinion and my Constitutional right to express that opinion freely with others. And most notably, it disregards that I am an individual. An individual capable of forming my own opinions and being brave enough to share those with the world at the risk of receiving backlash and criticism. All I ask is for respect of that bravery and respect for my qualifications.

Words are powerful. They can be used to inspire, unite, and revolutionize. Yet, they can be abused, and too comfortably are. Opening a dialogue of political debate by confining me to my gender restricts the productivity of that debate from the start. Those simple but potent words overlook my identity and label me as a stereotype destined to fit into a mold. They indicate that in our debate, you cannot look past my sex. That you will not be receptive to what I have to say if it doesn't fit into what I should be saying, "as a woman."

That is the issue with politics today. The media and our politicians, those who are meant to encourage and protect democracy, divide us into these stereotypes. We are too often told that because we are female, because we are young adults, because we are a minority, because we are middle-aged males without college degrees, that we are meant to vote and to feel one way, and any other way is misguided. Before a conversation has begun, we are divided against our will. Too many of us fail to inform ourselves of the issues and construct opinions that are entirely our own, unencumbered by what the mainstream tells us we are meant to believe.

We, as a people, have become limited to these classifications. Are we not more than a demographic?

As a student of political science, seeking to enter a workforce dominated by men, yes, I am a woman, but foremost I am a scholar, I am a leader, and I am autonomous. I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

You Might Love Being A CNA, But That Compassion Won't Show Up In Your Paycheck

A big heart means nothing if you're struggling to make ends meet.

193
views

To the ones who love their job and doing what they do but is on the fence about leaving their job, I was in your shoes, too.

I knew when I started my job as a CNA (certified nurse's assistant), it would be a hard one. If you know anything about the job duties of a CNA, you'll quickly understand that for all of the work that we do, we're ridiculously underpaid and overworked.

I'll start by saying I loved my job.

Though the days were long and I was on my feet more than I sat down during the day, I loved being able to help people. I loved being able to make people smile and hear a simple "Thank you" and sometimes, that's all I needed for my day to do a full 360. I could be having the worst day in the world and covered in random bodily fluids, but walking out of a resident's room and hearing them quietly tell you that they appreciate what you've done for them, that's truly the one thing that can change my entire day, knowing that my hard work doesn't go unnoticed.

But compassion doesn't pay mine or anyone else's bills.

Someone could love their job and be happy to be there every single shift, but when you're overworked but so underpaid, your compassion may not leave, but your bills begin to pile up and you're stuck with not knowing what to do. If you're anything like me, you'll be so conflicted about leaving your job to find something better financially, but you know that you're leaving a job you enjoy doing and you may not find that enjoyment elsewhere.

At the end of the day, you have to realize what would be best for you. You can be the most compassionate about your job, but that compassion means nothing if you're struggling to make ends meet. I know from experience that if you're in a field like mine, it's hard to leave because you know people will need you, but you have to do what's best for you and only you.

Compassion doesn't pay the bills.

You may have to leave a job that you love, but there are so many opportunities out there and, who knows, you might find one you enjoy just as equally.

Related Content

Facebook Comments