By: Cailyn McCutcheon
The role of social media in this year’s election was a more prominent force than any other race in the past. The birth of the idea of a “social media election” began in the 2008 presidential election when Twitter and Facebook became hot spots for political celebration and argumentation alike. And as the 2012 election flooded television screens, this not-as-new idea of a social media election was in full-swing as social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, completely disrupted the archaic traditions of political campaign. But this election was different than both years in the past as it was a form of, “social media on steroids,” according to USA Today.
This election introduced an entirely different form of social media campaigning: Snapchat. With its diverse selection of filters and live-streams, this election had more interaction with social media than ever before. But as an avid user of social media, I believe that this rise of social media use in expressing presidential election opinions is more hindering to our society than it is beneficial. Stripped down, social media platforms are meant to connect users with those they agree with, not to foster discussions with those in disagreement with. Of course, disagreement of opinion is healthy for any society that places such a high emphasis on social media usage, but when is political bashing on social media taken to an inappropriate level?
As this election season unfolded, it seemed that the majority looked to social media platforms such as Facebook for the majority of campaign information and the candidate’s political platforms; however, in this age of social media where virtually any idea on the web can be shared, tweeted, or snapchatted, social media is influencing voters in all the wrong ways. It seems that many Americans forget that the end goal is to create an American government that is better for the people of this country, not to bash, to ridicule, and to falsely display information in a desire to put one candidate ahead on the basis of false advertising. The election is over; The United States has a new president, but I fear what four years from now will bring for our society that places such a high emphasis on social media exploitation. The negativity on social media surrounding this election was truly embarrassing for our nation.