The Political Divide on Social Media | By: Ashlyn Jo Hoppe

With the approach of Super Tuesday, the social media world is buzzing with thoughts, predictions and opinions.

Friends and family are sharing election snippets on twitter and politically charged rants on Facebook, all revolving around which presidential candidate will win the 2017 election.

With living in the south, these types of posts are the norm. Southerners tend to have very strong opinions, and have no reservations about making said opinions know to all those that will listen.

Having had grown up in the north, this comes as a stark contrast to the laid back, less politically involved posts someone like me is used to seeing north of the bible belt.

Growing up in Seattle, Washington, I was raised around those who generally had a liberal viewpoint in politics. My hometown was in a unanimously blue state every election term. Fast forward to present day, with me living in Dallas, Texas, it is fair to say that this no longer rings true.

 

An example of the electoral maps seen in 2008.

(Image Source: Coffeycountycommerce.wordpress.com)

The political atmosphere in which I find myself immersed is no longer a democratic, liberal belief system. But rather, it is a conservative and republican environment. An environment I encounter not only in my every day life, but in my life in social media as well.

Social media has always been, and will most likely always be a place to express your beliefs. Good or bad, crazy or sane, social media is a platform for ideas and expression to be broadcast to the world.

As a person who generally tends to align themselves with more liberal, democratic ideals, I find myself isolated. I am a product of where I was born and raised. I have always, and will always, continue to vote blue.

On social media, I do not feel free to express my viewpoints and standpoints. The south is unique in the sense that political viewpoints are hypersensitive, particularly as of late. Living where I do, if I were to go against the “southern norm”, I would be publicly ridiculed on my own social media.

Perhaps after Super Tuesday, the social media realms will have become less politically charged. But for now, I’ll continue to keep my viewpoints to myself online.




   

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