Masthead: Social media helps sell election, Media makes spectacle of politics

Full Staff Opinion

Social media is, needless to say, important to everyone. However, this topic is very important in regard to our upcoming Common Hour speaker on February 4th, Lonnie Isabel. Isabel’s talk will focus on social media’s effect on campaigns and the way that it has modernized the entire process. Everyone is very much entitled to their own opinion on this issue. That’s what makes politics so interesting. But the Reporter staff believes that social media has changed the campaign process in a way that is malicious for the American political process.

Every time we turn on the presidential debates, we can’t help but get turned off to the race. The media hypes the debates up as if “Donald Trump versus Ted Cruz” is equivalent to an NBA matchup between LeBron James and Steph Curry. The combination of television, and the role of apps like Twitter, dramatize the affair. When we watch, it seems like a group is trying to sell its product as opposed to an event that determines the future of the United States of America. Scrolling through Donald Trump’s Twitter is like reading tweets between two boxers trash talking each other before they punch it out in the ring.

Social media is a good thing for sports, entertainment, and so on. These are aspects of our culture that are meant for us to enjoy, joke about, and find amusing. However, the presidential debate isn’t a game. It isn’t a television show or concert that we all need to tweet about. Gaining followers is a silly process that shouldn’t be important for getting votes. A presidential campaign isn’t something that’s meant to be entertaining or sold to viewers. Social media has made everyone have a dire need to market a product. It has made popularity crucial, as anything can be exposed to a mass audience. Unfortunately, social media looks like its only going to grow as the years go on. We can’t really stop its influence on politics and future presidential campaigns. But, we can alter the way we view it. Hopefully, citizens of America hopefully can realize that all the television, internet, and twitter drama that swirls candidates is irrelevant. What is important is the character of the specific individual running, and character is nothing can be dramatized, marketed, or tweeted.

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