Social media offers a new way to navigate the political landscape

By Tay Cheema

We are currently faced with numerous political issues spread throughout the world. These prominent controversies and problems are scattered all throughout social media platforms, where people not only see these issues, they discuss them and even argue them.

Now that people of all ages are involved in the necessity which is the internet, everyone is exposed to political  issues and perspectives. The exposure to such societal issues leads to an inevitable involvement, causing people of all ages to form their own political view points.

Not only are these platforms used to share views, they are also used to stand up for each individual belief. Although there may be some incongruous belief systems present, social media platforms give everyone the opportunity to concentrate their opinions in apps, websites, and blogs. Controversies and arguments arise quickly, and people type their opinions in the comment section of a politically-motivated post. The comment section is a savannah; no one can avoid attacks of one another, like wild animals fighting their prey.

Social media has either made it easy or incredibly hard to share one’s opinions on social and political issues; it all depends on your perspective. People are either afraid of backlash, or unafraid of expressing themselves in front of many. Even celebrities refrain from expressing their political views, as it may ruin their credibility as an artist. Ultimately, social media platforms are unpredictable environments, where anything can be questioned. While social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook aren’t typically used to share brief personal anecdotes anymore, you can always argue with your aunt in the comment section on Facebook.

According to a 2015 study conducted by the Media Insight Project, 85% of millennials say that its important for them to keep up with the news, which contributes to the fact that they are constantly active on social media. This results in them getting more involved in politics as they join people their age, or anyone for that matter, to communicate with one another and build their political opinions. 

We are shaped by the influence that social media has on us. On social media, we learn about events, rallies, protests, and so many other things, and we join to bring about a change that is right in our eyes. Such events and issues would be far less acknowledged if social media wasn’t an enormous part of our lives. For some, heavy use of social media may not be ideal. Nevertheless, social media stands as a valuable tool in exchanging ideas to better understand each other and political matters.