Dictionary.com defines “social network” as “an online community of people with a common interest who use a Web site or other technologies to communicate with each other and share information, resources, etc.” I disagree with this definition.
Sometimes I swear the only “common interests” I share with some of my Facebook friends is that we both like Facebook and we both like each other… at least at one point we did. No time shows this lack of common interest more than a presidential election. Facebook, or social networks in general for that matter, are not just for communicating or sharing information and resources, but they’re also for sharing opinions.
A social network is, and should be, a constructed space where you can share opinions, views, likes, dislikes… and of course, the always favorite, what you ate for dinner (or if you’re lucky, an Instagram photo of dinner!). But what is it about a presidential election that causes Joe Blow to think he’s a politician, or better yet, the only one who has it all figured out when he hasn’t said a word since the last election?
Personally, I find most of the snarky, political posts and statuses to be from friends who still attend high school. Rarely do I see sarcastic or opinionated posts from fellow college students. The posts I do see from college students typically refer to links that back them up with factual information and do not simply state, “I hate Obama! Vote Romney!”
Why do all of these high school students care? Are they just regurgitating what they heard Mom and Dad say at the dinner table? If they can’t vote, do their voices even matter?
Of course they do!
It’s great that people of all generations are given a voice they may not have utilized without social networking sites. Who knows, maybe some “insignificant” high schooler’s post causes others to research the topic for themselves?
But the point isn’t about the person’s age who is posting the annoying campaign opinions. The point is about the affect of the annoying posts. What do you expect to result from your random outburst of hate for one candidate over another? Do you think this will sway voters to vote your way? Are you just looking for mutual support from likes?
All I’m saying is, if you want your statements to be taken seriously and create change, back them up with facts. Because otherwise, your status will be overlooked just as quickly as the one about the delicious meatloaf Susie’s mom made for dinner.