Nowadays, anyone can put their opinion into the world with the click of a button. People rarely think before they post, often appearing ignorant and silly in retrospect.
With the presidential election this year, there has been an overabundance of memes, tweets and ridiculous scandals circling all social media. Many forget that being a digital citizen comes with some responsibility, and people must be able to back up whatever they post or share.
Everyone has that one uncle or cousin who posts all their political trash on Facebook – if you don’t, you’re certainly lucky. The funny thing is that everyone knows they haven’t done their research, that they support Trump because he’s a “successful businessman,” and their friends like and comment on their statuses to further encourage their posts. Pure garbage is spewed onto the internet, and no one is stopping it.
Also, trolls have been tricking people during this politically charged year. For example, a few misogynistic Trump supporters had begun the trend on Twitter “#repealthe19th” not too long ago. The trending hashtag was in reference to the 19th Amendment, which grants women the right to vote. Soon enough, people began tweeting the hashtag and attacking it for its disregard for women’s rights. It got taken down and, of course, the media covered it.
Even columnists Paul Krugman of the New York Times and Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast were called out by fellow journalist Ben Spielberg of the Huffington Post on their narrow-minded views concerning the presidential nominees.
“They’re convinced that Clinton is the best option and have developed tunnel vision to avoid the cognitive dissonance that actually considering feedback might bring about,” Spielberg said in a Huffington Post article.
What Forbes described as Americans’ “political ignorance” has spread like wildfire, especially in the Digital Age. People see what they choose to see, read what they choose to read and support who they’re told to support instead of doing balanced political research themselves.
Anyone can retweet, share or repost a misguided piece of information from an incredible source, turning it into common knowledge. Thankfully, the election is now over and the excessive political posts on social media might come to a halt, or at least slow down.
Just because you can vote does not mean you are an expert on politics. Similarly, iPhone 7 users can’t just put a pretty filter on a picture of a sunset and think they are professional photographers. Just no. Get educated.