When people think of social media, their minds will probably automatically go to teenagers. There are many uses for social media, like posting picture/videos, but many teens have found that they can share their political opinions on social media as well. There are also some political leaders, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Joe Biden who have been using it to their benefit to draw in more supporters.
On social media, information can get around very quickly, but sometimes it’s not always true or positive. Student Daphne Viel explains her perspective of how politics have taken over social media.
“I think that when it comes to social media people start to post what side they’re on and they support them,” Viel said. “Then, people start arguing and it causes unnecessary arguments between everyone.”
The claim she brings up shows how as a society, everyone has turned against one another unless you have the same political views as them. Social media has caused a harsh divide between the two sides. You can’t disagree with anyone else’s opinion because of what society has come to.
But there are also many positives when people decide to share what’s going on with politics. Some people who don’t watch the news as much or just don’t hear about what’s going on in the world of politics can benefit from social media. Another student, Riley Ries, shares her opinion of how although social media isn’t always a positive space, it’s still good to know what is happening.
“I feel like social media sort of blows political stuff out of proportion. There are some good things, like getting awareness for things that have had trouble getting awareness for,” Ries said. “But the way political people bash each other should not be allowed on social.”
Rie illustrates a more positive perspective on politics in social media. She does however explain that the way people post about politicians isn’t always very positive and should be handled better than it has been. But so much useful information and important opinions can be shared on social media, that there isn’t just a negative side. It’s a good and safe place where people can spread what they believe.
From the perspective of politicians, social media can be a great campaign tool. Politicians such as Joe Biden, Ilhan Omar and AOC have been using social media to their advantage. Ilhan Omar and AOC used the popular game, Among Us, to seem more appealing to the younger generation and gain more supporters. Joe Biden chose a similar tactic but used the old yet always entertaining game, Animal Crossing as a part of his campaign. Yet, another student, Chloe Sadler expresses her strong beliefs by explaining why adults should not be using gaming apps to appeal to people who are either too young to vote or just not interested.
“They shouldn’t have to get on to a game to get people to vote for them. It’s not a fair campaigning,” Sadler said. “And it’s weird that they think that the people that are doing it are grown adults that know better than to do that.”
Sadler’s opinion on how these politicians are handling their duties show us that some people don’t agree with how adults are using social media to promote their campaigns or to gain supporters and that the audience they’re reaching out to is too young. But student Joseph Sapienza has an alternate opinion to this. He brings up that it is good that they are reaching out to younger people to try and bring them to their “side”.
“Well they’re trying to reach out to a younger audience. They don’t care about the older generation because they know that they’re not going to change their minds whether they are republican or democrat. So, they’re trying to do things that’ll make them seem better,” Sapienza said. “The older generation isn’t going to care is AOC plays among us on stream for 3 hours. Our generation does though. It gets them support. People love that type of stuff because they’re getting involved in stuff we care about.”
He brings up the point that just because they’re using social media platforms to boost their popularity and get more supporters, doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. They’re trying to connect with younger people to show them how the political system works early on.
Social media can be used for numerous things but using them for politics can have both negative and positive sides. Politicians can be viewed as smart for using social media, or what they’re doing may seem unintelligent, it’s just all about perspective. People are always going to have disagreements, so social media may be a good place to discuss different perspectives and for politicians to gain more supporters through what they do.
Alivia Roach // Staff Writer