The Power Of Social Media Elected Trump, But There's Still Hope For Humanity
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Politics and Activism

The Power Of Social Media Elected Trump, But There's Still Hope For Humanity

Politics can't be explained in 140 characters and Tweets shouldn't dictate our political ideas.

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The Power Of Social Media Elected Trump, But There's Still Hope For Humanity
Ted S. Warren - Trump rally in Eugene, Ore., Friday, May 6, 2016

Communications in the 21st century has evolved a lot since the introduction and popularization of social media. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram became super popular and smartphones allowed them to be a 24-hour communication opportunity. Social media was made for close communication between people, for power players to share their information with their public and, most importantly, for the public to engage with them.

You can communicate with people who share the same beliefs as you with a single hashtag, no matter the distance. But social media became something even more important than that: in 2009, social media helped 10,000 Moldovans protest against their government using a Twitter hashtag, and it made people see, hear and feel crisis happening worldwide. Social media transformed the concept of "global citizen"; it made us have voices and opinions worth hearing.

That power was soon utilized by politicians to share their ideas with the public, stimulating them to participate, engage and exchange information in a raw form of direct communication. While that allowed people to become more engaged with politics, it also allowed the spread of uncensored and hateful messages against the opposition and soon became the heartbeat of this American election cycle. As Farhad Manjoo commented on a New York Times story: "about every story that captivated the campaign either began on Twitter or got its viral energy there." Social Media and Twitter specifically fueled this election.

By bypassing the many fact-checking, accuracy tests every regularized news platform has, Twitter was used unashamedly by the presidential candidates. These players used their power status to publish their opinions as the absolute truth, disregarding reality.

Here's an example:

Now that's a huge power play. He's virtually saying, "Hey, Hillary will make Obamacare more costly, while I am going to replace it with something better!" Sounds like a solid plan and a great advantage to the president-elect, if it were the truth. Hillary's position on Obamacare was that she would try to make it more affordable for families, no more than 8.5 percent of the household's income (now is at 9.33 percent). Trump phrased his tweet to make it a tool against Hillary's ideas on healthcare. And seeing this election's results, it worked.

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Twitter and other social media platforms are perfect for sharing opinions and shouting our beliefs to friends. With "great power, comes great responsibility," and people using our tweeting authority to call each other names.

Social media is appealing: it calls you to write your ideas; it compels you to retweet someone else's ideas that resonate with your own. But what's the point of using this power to share wrong or hateful messages?

I literally can't deal with biased, inaccurate information.

The whole concept of social media allows us to put on this mask when we're online, thus showing the ugly inside of many people to a giant audience. There's no way to balance the good and the bad of social media when we ourselves are so influenced by it. We, Millennials, are constantly online, constantly sharing, constantly checking our friends' statuses and constantly absorbing those opinions and making them our own.

The consequence of that many radical views on Twitter is that we don't take the time to make our own ideas, and instead blindly follow opinions that are neither our own, nor accurate.

Social media is a great tool for connecting people and ideas all over the world, but we must not forget to build our thoughts before sucking in other people's opinions. This election's result showed us the depth of this issue, and we must not let it go any further. Let social media unite us, rather than divide us with hateful posts.

Hope I don't get deported for this article. Thanks for reading.

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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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