It seems as if apathy has made the way as the prevalent sentiment as the lack of trust has increased tremendously towards those that are behind the positions of power in the government. In addition, those that don’t care, or are officially apathetic towards the process of elections are now being substituted with those that believe the whole thing is fixed, recurring to research their skepticism and become more acclimated in their reasoning as to why they are not going to partake in the democratic system by voting in this years presidential election. In other words, there are people who can vote, but instead of researching the candidate which they want to mark off in the ballot, they are researching or gathering sources that supports their view on why they should not vote. How this has become a increasing reality, is with no doubt a very disturbing that people are getting informed, only to fortify their decision to not vote.  

Social media has flipped the coin, as it seems more likely for those who are indifferent to their civic duty of voting and to some extent that they rather pay more attention to their like-minded friend posts in their social media pages that refer directly to mention their distaste for the government, which creates a tunnel vision type effect that perhaps is incremented by the algorithms of social media sites that result in a person’s friends list showing points of views that differ one from being active in the democratic process, as the links to blogs or videos that denounce the act of voting as one that is futile and putting voting for a president as something that does not matter, because the person elected will not do anything to really change their lives or of others that are around them.   which feeds the point inferring that is a result from a preach-to-the-choir effect that social media can have when all a person is reading are conspiracies that can engulf a person with a bias that is fed daily while they spend reading articles that reflect their friends who like them do not have a positive view on the government.

Nothing against these behemoths of social media, but the truth is if there isn’t a way to discuss, only a way to press a button to show that you agree, are these people who do not believe in voting, are they going to stay indifferent for all the future presidential elections? And then will the design in social media be at fault for this outcome? It seems we hardly tolerate opposing views to the point where unfollowing, unfriending or blocking individuals with those opposing views in the context of voting for an elected official is deterring from the political tradition of arguing for the sole reason of informing those that disagree of the information that they might not know about their candidate and completely freeze the chance for a person to get enough facts that in the end run might drive them to change their decision once they are at the station ready to place their vote. There should be debate and it should be a civilized one, but as more people depend of social media sites, they are more likely to hide away rivals that support the other party.  

For all one knows people might believe more and more (perhaps to the point where it is every-time) what their friends on a social media posts, rather than what a government official or in this case the person who is soon to be commander in chief has to say on what an afflicting issue like the one that has to do with wall street and the steps taken to have better regulated markets. Thus a person who distrusted the presidential election is most likely not going to change their mind and all of the sudden start believing in the government. Thus social media in the case of non believers, are bearing more weight to show what a friend who is all up to date in conspiracy theories and publishes on his page a set of documentaries that exposes illegal gun-trades as a  much more legitimate source because of his or her reputation as posting relevant information that coincides with a gut feeling that reinforces the notion that “it doesn’t matter because it is all fixed”.

The person who doesn’t believe in voting does not do anything to change the system and has all friend which align with that same stance is gone with the wind in terms of voting because of algorithms that pit comparable views with very little opposition that together with the continuous scandals of tax evasion or email that were leaked that rock the trust of the normal day person that fuels the fire that burns votes before they even make it out of their home.

A lot of people will take this choice, not because they didn’t care to vote, but more because of how many sources they had that fed them as to why there isn’t a point to vote since it’s always fixed.If there isn’t a viable way during presidential elections where it is accepted for opposing views to be read and challenged then social media is working against the point of having as many people vote so that the majority can have a stronger say in who can likely win the election, hence this is not how change is going to take place, it won’t be because a person clicked a button on their friends social media page. Then those that are registered to vote and are capable of going out in November and place their vote are simply not going to do it, because of being mis-informed due to the pretense that at the end voting simply did not matter.

Also published on Medium.

Tags : American PresidencyElections 2016

Leave a Response