Do you remember growing up and being told there were certain things you didn’t discuss in public – religion, politics and sex? Have you noticed that of those 3 things, the one thing that truly became taboo in our adulthood is politics? With this past presidential election it seems that all subjects are on the table – like it or not.
The most obvious place this is seen is on social media. Twitter (the favorite of our current President), Facebook and even Instagram are saturated with people’s political opinions. On Facebook you will see those who still believe in keeping certain things private are lashing out or pleading with their friends to please stop and go back to the simpler times.
I am probably one of the worst offenders of saturating social media with my opinions – heck I even started a blog so I could share even more! Due to my constant barrage of political themed posts I am sure a number of people have “unfollowed” me to just get a break from them. I would bet some family members have done the same with my posts too. So knowing this why don’t I ease up?
Quite simply because I cannot stop sharing what is going on in our country. I cannot stay quiet about our great nation’s new leader is doing to all of us. It is important to be aware and to be outspoken about these things. Even if it makes me or anyone else uncomfortable. For when we’re uncomfortable we seek to change.
That’s really why people get upset by religion, politics and sex. It makes them uncomfortable. Politics is the biggest button to make people uncomfortable. Those who don’t watch the news, don’t read about the news – they’re the ones especially who state “I don’t like politics.”
This is not saying those who are sick of political posts taking over their social media news feeds are wrong in feeling that way. Some don’t get why the rest of us are outraged and upset by the current administration. Some don’t care about “those things” as opposed to what affects them directly. Some just look at social media as a way to stay in touch with friends and family and don’t want it to be anything more than that.
Do politics really belong as social media posts though? Yes, yes they do. 1.79 billion people are active Facebook users. Twitter has 320 million listed as active. Instagram has 400 million users. Google+ has 300 million registered users. That’s 2.61 billion worldwide on social media.(1) Quite an audience for a political activist, don’t you think?
Reportedly on Facebook women have an average of 166 friends and men have an average of 145 friends. (2) So for arguments sake we’ll say overall each Facebook user has an average of 155 friends. Multiply that out by the number of those friends who share, comment, or react to your post and that’s a lot of potential viewers of information. Still quite an audience.
Though those of us who are the political posters on social media may annoy some of our friends and family. But the numbers of those we can reach to create awareness and boost activism outweighs the annoyance factor. Social media is a place for the voice of those who need one.