Social Intimidation: How has Social Media Affected How You Vote?
The 2020 election has caused many to undergo a series of emotions and has generally left many people on the edge of their seats. However, of all of the elections that have been covered, this may be one of the most-covered elections through social media. I took to social media platforms Twitter and Instagram to gain more insight on how these social media networks have determined how people have chosen to vote, to which I’ve received responses on both sides of the spectrum.
“I think because we are all being affected by the pandemic, social media has made it a lot easier to register to vote. If it weren’t for Instagram [implementing] the registration feature I wouldn’t have become a registered voter,” Maddie, 23, shared via Instagram.
This feature has reportedly made it more accessible for many people to become more proactive in this election. The pandemic is the result of this becoming easier for people to register, which in return has been impacted tremendously. First time voters like my 18 year old brother for instance, are given the means to register and vote more efficiently at the tip of their fingers.
While social media is paving the way for many people of all ages to vote, especially younger generations, it seems it has also played some what of a significance in how people are choosing the candidates they are selecting.
“People automatically think just because Twitter is telling them Trump is bad that they should vote against him. There is a lot of group-thinking on social media and I can’t stand it. Vote for who you want, but make sure you are doing your own research,” Jordan, 24, expressed on Twitter.
Jordan was by far the most interesting interviewee I have crossed paths with thus far. Reigning from the Antelope Valley, Jordan is a young Black man pursuing a career in politics who is a registered Republican, who voted for Trump. Being labeled a Trump supporter is one thing, but being a Black Trump supporter causes a heap of even more labels.
“I have been called a coon, an uncle-tom, so many other names because of my political views but I think it’s funny. At the end of the day, I am going to vote for who I choose to vote for, just like you will vote for who you want to vote for. It shouldn’t be a huge conflict but social media is why it is the way it is,” Jordan replied.
For first time voters on the other-hand, like Karina, 18, this election has been nerve-wracking but informative. “I am always checking Instagram for updates and different information that could be useful. It helped me when voting on the propositions for sure. But I feel like it’s given me so much anxiety because I am nervous to see what the outcome will be,” Karina shared.
Karina’s feelings towards this election is definitely a sentiment many can share. With the pandemic not slowing down anytime soon, and the huge event of finding out who the next leader of our country will be, it can cause social media fatigue. One thing that is important, for sure, is to check into ourselves mentally and check out of social media.