The Politics of Social Media

Votepost by Stephanie Nelson

If you’ve turned on a tv, checked your mailbox, signed in to social media, or gone out in public lately, you’re probably more than well aware that we’re in the throes of election season.  As November 4th inches closer and campaigns wind down, the onslaught of ads seems neverending.

As I suffered through another commercial break filled with mud slinging, and the election crept into my Facebook newsfeed with posts from friends espousing the greatness of their preferred candidates, I let my mind wander to how politics could relate to social media (outside of the obvious – posts showing up in newsfeeds/ Twitter timelines/etc.).  Here’s what I came up with:

  • Social media is made up of daily votes.
  • You vote with your likes, retweets, favorites, +1s, repins, etc.
  • You also vote with your friends list, who you follow, the connections you have and such.
  • Unlike votes placed at the ballot box, your feeds are not based on who gets the most votes (for the most part).  Outside of ads and trending topics, what shows up in your feed is 100% up to you.
  • Also unlike ballot box votes, you’re not “stuck” with your vote for any length of time.  A page like doesn’t have a term of 4 years.  A Twitter follow doesn’t have a term of 2 years.  If you decide you “voted” incorrectly with your like/follow/add to circle/request to connect, you can change it 1 second, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 1 year or more later!

votedearlyAll that being said, I encourage you to vote.  Do it daily in your social media world, but definitely get out there – in real life (GASP!) – and rock the voting booth!  I voted early today, and it took about 10 minutes…if that!  Let your voice be heard!

Top Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net