Surprise! Your Political Facebook Posts are a Waste of Time.
Let’s make America’s Facebook posts great again.
In case you haven’t heard, America is making some changes this year. Big changes. And one big change in particular tends to stand out…
We’re getting a brand spankin’ new president. And it’s all over Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. And I mean ALL OVER.
OMG. SO MUCH THIS.
But seriously, guys. What’s with your incessant hullaballoo on social media? My feeds have become a non-stop cesspool of political posts devoid of the one thing that gives them a point: Persuasion.
Yes, I get it. We have a Reality TV icon and a former First Lady going head to head in a complete battle royale for the White House. It’s a pretty big deal. But by this point in the charade, is anything that’s happening in the presidential race right now truly surprising to you? Is it anything new?
Donald Trump’s still out there sounding like a crazy, misogynistic asshole. We’ve still got Hillary Clinton raining on his parade with corporate cash. It’s a zoo. (I guess it makes sense now why we chose animals to represent the parties.) But to me, this all feels like old news.
With the media having a field day covering important things like Elizabeth Warren and Hillary’s matching suits, I understand that we have plenty of links available to share on social media. But at this point, why must we.
Think about it.
You know who you’re going to vote for. I know who I’m going to vote for. And I guarantee many of your Facebook friends are pretty solid in their choice too.
So your political links with the poignant caption of “OMG THIS. SO MUCH THIS” are pretty much dead inside. They are things I already know and already have feelings about. When I see your posts I’m basically at the level of your mom when you wanted to show her something and she was busy on the phone. Just straight DGAF with a:
“That’s nice, honey.”
That’s right. I DGAF about your political posts. They aren’t doing anything for me.
And guess what? These empty posts aren’t doing anything for your politician of choice either.
I want you to think about why you share your political “opinions” in such basic form. What is your goal?
Is your goal to find all of your other friends who also checked the same box as you when they registered? To find out who is really on “your side”?
Or is your goal to sway someone over to your view point? To persuade others to believe in what you think is right? To grow and foster America’s direction in the way you truly and whole-heartedly feel it should go?
If you want the former, then fine. I guess your completely basic shares are slackingly sufficient. But if you really want change and support for what you believe, then “OMG THIS” just won’t cut it.
The entire point of a political campaign is persuasion. As a politician, you have to persuade people to follow your views so that you can gain the support of the masses. But that persuasion shouldn’t just stop at the highest level. That’s where it should begin.
Whether you’ve been persuaded to follow the ideals of Hillary, Bernie, the Donald, or Gary Johnson, if your ultimate goal is to get them into office, then you’ve gotta be down to do some of the dirty work too.
You want your nominee to win? Repeat after me: For my candidate to pervade, I MUST PERSUADE.
Now, persuasion is not yelling loudly and repetitively “THIS IS WHAT I BELIEVE! HEAR ME NOW!”
Persuasion is also not writing for those who already agree with you. In fact, that’s basically the opposite of persuasion. To me, these types of posts are a waste of your time when it comes to politics. It’s a popularity contest to get likes from people who already liked you. Posts like these rarely do anything to affect change.
“That’s nice, honey.” No one cares.
So how do you make mom stop, look, and listen? How do you get someone give attention to what is important to you? How do you get them to care about that point of view?
It sure as shit isn’t “THIS. SO MUCH THIS.”
It’s quality over quantity. It’s education. It’s understanding more than one point of view. It’s knowing why you’re sharing this and who you want your audience to be. It’s writing to them.
You are my friend. I like you. I like to see your posts and updates. I like to hear when you have something of substance to say. Whether or not I agree with you is up to me, but hey, give it a shot.
But like I said earlier, my thoughts on the election in my mind are fairly made up at this point. So when you share a link for your candidate with “OMG THIS.” or no caption at all, I’m not clicking to read what the media or some other reporter has to say.
I do, however, care what my friends have to say. My friends and my community are going to be the most likely people to sway my vote.
There’s a reason Bernie grew so strong with millennials. It was the first time a lot of those millennials started to have opinions about politics and the first time they really started having some comprehensive conversations with friends, spreading the word of Bernie through their own voices. Whether or not you feel the Bern, you definitely felt the passion of his supporters in their own words.
So if YOU have something to say, a clear thought, a constructed opinion, a persuasive argument, or even just a quote from an article that conveys information underscoring your own opinions, share THAT as the status. That is the part that’s going to get read by your friends. That is the part that might get your followers to click a link they otherwise would never have clicked. That is the part that is going to persuade more people to vote like you do. That is going to change minds.
Is a well-written Facebook post enough to enact change in this world we live in? Perhaps not, but OMG THIS personal and persuasive way of sharing might be a good place to start.