How Do You Identify?

Social media giant Facebook categorizes all of its users’ political affiliations.

I learned something important the other day, and it’s the fact that Facebook categorizes and targets your ads. Sure, a lot of people know this, and I did too. But, they also let you know how they identify you on the political spectrum.

I saw an article pop up about this on Facebook, I believe it was from CNBC, and would be lying if I said I wasn’t curious. I am registered as a member of a political party, I have all of these social constructs that surround my political identity, what if I was wrong?

With that in mind, I ventured into the depths of my ad preferences to see what I could find.

My experience there turned out to be exactly how I thought it would be. I was tagged with the same words I would use to describe myself, but I left with a better understanding of a three things.

(If youre interested in seeing your political leaning as categorized by Facebook, check out this link.)

I created the differences that divide myself from my peers.

I am 100% a culprit of viewing those who have different views from me as annoying, as frustrating, and enigmatic. How could people that I liked so much and spent so much time around not have come away with the same ideals that I have.

2. Social media and these targeted ads create and reinforce differences

As a Democrat I am bombareded with anti-Trump, anti-Conservative ideal ads and constantly hit with pro-Hillary, pro-Democrat materials. When we call attention to the far extremes of both ends to drive up voter engagement a palatable middle ground is lost.

3. The more I saw these ads, the more frustrating they become

I really like seeing the perspectives of others on social media. There can be something really brilliant about seeing a side of an issue that is not your own. We need a little more of that.

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