Will People Use Social Media as a Productive Tool for the 2019 Elections?
“Pre-Awareness: What role will social media play in the 2019 elections?”
I don’t think until these most recent US Presidential elections was I aware how effective and powerful social media can be as a tool for political issues. I can honestly say that I was completely blindsided and devastated when Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. I have been searching my brain for how exactly this happened, for how someone like Trump who seemed like such a ridiculous and outrageous candidate actually managed to win the Presidential election.
Social media is a tool that is accessible to a very large portion of the world’s population. It is fairly simple to navigate and more importantly extremely influential. Starting out as merely a tool for people to connect with friends and family on the Internet it has now become a outlet for people to express their most deep and personal opinions on serious and powerful issues going on around the world. The issue is that a lot of people are unaware and uneducated on these issues and circumstances that are being considered on these social media platforms. The US Presidential Election is a great example of this. Although seemingly coming off as an ignorant and impulsive fool, Donald Trump was very calculated in this campaign and he strategically used social media to achieve his desired results. Ridiculous or not, Trump was able to bring so much attention to himself through social media that he was arguably the most discussed topic on the planet. Whether or not he brought good or bad attention to himself, it was attention nonetheless.
For me, along with a lot of other people, this attention he was receiving felt simply like a joke, however, to whole lot of other people it became inspiring and instructive. Unfortunately, it is easy to believe something on social media, especially if you know nothing about it. A lot of citizens wanted to see huge change in America and to them Trump was at the very least someone new and exciting. Through social media Trump was able to create a campaign where the more ridiculous he acted, the more interesting attention he received. After watching some of the Black Mirror episodes it has become evident the effect that social media can have on our society and it is terrifying to think about the social media presence that is possible at the next Presidential election.
With our current society social media will most definitely be used in the 2019 elections. At this point it is completely unavoidable. What we can do is have awareness of the power that social media possesses and try our best to use it mindfully and appropriately. It is crucial that for these next elections we attempt to temporarily break out of our chosen filter bubbles so that we are able to see the true reality of the situation. If we had done this throughout this past election it is likely we would have been able to see the serious damage Trump was able to create through his social media platforms. Trump’s triumph would not have been so much a surprise and there is a slim possibility we could have acted in ways that may have changed the unfortunate outcome. By doing this we will obtain a much more well-rounded knowledge of all political sides and opinions. Hopefully this way we will be better prepared for the outcomes.