Being a part of a generation so involved with social media (such as Twitter and Facebook), I can't help but notice the amount of influence the recent presidential election has had on these two places. While many posts and "tweets" express opinions about candidates, there are as many -if not more- posts bashing those who express their opinions… at least when it comes to high school students.
Now I'm not going to be a hypocrite; I was once guilty of this "bashing." During the couple days after the first presidential debate I could not bear to read the posts about president Obama and governor Romney, most seeming either untrue or simply stupid. I would listen to my fellow classmates talk politics and roll my eyes, while I’d tweet posts saying things like “no one cares what you have to say, shut up.” Though politics have always been an interest of mine, I didn't see the point in expressing opinion unless fully informed of the issues at hand... and I held this belief until early last week.
Someone had asked my art teacher what they thought about the debate, along with some input about one candidate's treatment toward the other that I did not agree with. Immediately I turned my head and made a snarky comment about how students should not talk about the debate if they did not know what they were talking about. Good point, right? Wrong.
My teacher then did made a good point. Something along the lines of... any press if good press. We should always encourage all forms of political input and simply inform each other of what we are saying that is wrong. Now I'm not trying to say that as long as we're talking about the election anything goes, but rather, it's a good idea to talk about what we do know and go from there. Many young people are simply not as involved as they should be. And whether this is due to fright of being the annoying person on Facebook or being embarrassingly misinformed, if we don't at least try we'll never get there. Instead of assuming most classmates just want to impress others with their said "interest" in political debate, why not support this and inform ourselves together?
So, back to social media. Instead of being the person to call out all those who want to talk politics via social media, remember why it was created in the first place. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter were created to communicate; to express ourselves to one another and to, in a sense, have our own personal press. Let's all make a difference and encourage those who at least CARE.
To all you self-proclaimed political analysts on Twitter- I salute you.
For more about this issue from the view of Student Journalists, please visit our opinions section at lionnewspaper.com this Friday.