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Political posts on social media: Yes or no?

IT IS IMPORTANT TO SPEAK UP | Ashley Kim

Opinions on political matters maximize when an important event arises. While it is not imperative for students to post opinions or share thoughts regarding political issues on social media, it is important to speak up for other students if not for oneself, especially now. One way students can do this is by posting on social media.

The United States’ current political climate is one of the most tense environments it has seen in decades. It seems that everyday more and more people are discussing their political views, and they’re doing so mostly on social media. This results in more people frequently engaging in some semblance of political discussion. Social media is becoming a powerful tool in the way people understand each other and understand politics and social justice matters. Most im- importantly, it helps students know that they are not alone.

The riots in Charlottesville were widely publicized through social media, particularly Snapchat. Without the Snapchat video footage of the events that unfolded, without UVA students willingly and openly sharing their political views, these events would not have been so widely or immediately covered. Social media is a powerful tool that delivers news to the masses quickly.

As a result of students’ thorough and wide coverage, social media became a wrestling arena for words of differing political views, as it usually does with breaking news.

While it’s unlikely that someone would change their mind or political ideologies as a result of a fight in Facebook comments, sharing political stances on social media helps to convey that a person is an ally.

Talking about politics on social media might not make a huge difference, but it can certainly create a ripple effect and encourage people to more openly discuss their views in more public formats. If it only changes one person’s mind, even in the slightest, it has made a difference.

THAT POST WON’T CHANGE ANYTHING | Matt Kriese

is generation of college students is making itself known in the world of social progressiveness and making innovative ideas felt on an international scale never before seen. However, the relative signi cance of their voices seem unable to invoke the societal change of generations past.

A lot of this lack of change has to do with the fact that the way young people choose to express their opinions does not have the visual signi cance that student protests did in the past. Electing to voice an opinion (especially a political one) online does have the possibility of reaching many people, but due to the nature of social media, the people that are reached likely share in that political opinion. Most people have hundreds of friends on Facebook, but many of those people have similar world views as the person expressing their opinion. So, the weight of the message is lost in the echo chamber of discourse; it doesn’t a ect anyone.

In the past, students would organize marches and public demonstrations that forced people who have opposing opinions to realize what it was that students stood for. Issues of human rights, free speech, and most famously, war were discussed en masse. The power of many voices grouped together played an important role in the change of public policies that were otherwise discriminatory or oppressive to some degree. at hasn’t happened because the guy from the other side of the classroom made another lengthy post about his frustrations with Trump.

Posting about politics in some forum robs the collective group of its strength of voice. While it is wonderfully gratifying to think that the stage is set for one’s opinion to make waves with friends or family, it does nothing for the progress of the nation as a whole. Change has only occurred historically when massive groups of people have fought alongside each other to ensure that the interests of the greater good were met. Now, the desires of the individual have stopped this progress.

If someone thinks that next post will change something, they should remember how small a voice has become online.

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