Monday, November 5, 2012

Rules for Election Day: Social Media Edition

Election Day in America is always a bit crazy. With the 24 hours new cycle, no story, no angle is off limits. But with social media use at an all time high, the gloves come off and people will type anything that comes to mind without putting much thought into it. Here is a guide to how to survive election day online.

1. No, you aren't going to move. Don't even think about typing it.
     Oh, what's that? You are going to move to Canada/Mexico/Amsterdam/Italy/Australia/China if ________ wins? No. No you aren't. You aren't going to move for several reasons. One reason being that it is completely absurd to move your life elsewhere just because your candidate didn't win. Stop saying you are going to move. You aren't. Alec Baldwin didn't and neither will you. And a special shout-out to my Conservative friends: This really applies to you because you aren't going to find a country with more right-leaning values. It ain't gonna happen. Canada should be the LAST place you threaten to move. Do some research and then move to Utah. You should be safe there.

2. Don't be ignorant
    I know this is a lot to ask for some people. They are going to spout off their thoughts, unfiltered, wherever they can. But please, don't be ignorant. Don't actually type that people didn't vote for Obama because he is black. And don't type that people who vote for Romney are stupid rednecks. Just don't do it. Be intelligent in your online vocabulary. I will respect you more if you argue FOR your candidate rather than against the other guy. It is easy to take shots at someone you don't agree with. Stand up for what you DO believe in. If you want to read examples of what not to type, go to Twitter, type in #whyImnotvotingforRomney or #whyImnotvotingforObama. Read some of those tweets and then DO NOT type those things.

3. Not everyone thinks like you and that is okay.
    Personally, I wouldn't want to live in a world where everyone has the exactly same political leanings. SCARY. If you state your case intelligently, I have no problems thinking "well, I don't agree but guess what, that is okay." Do I want people judging me based on my political thoughts? Hell no. So I won't judge you based on yours.  But if you are ignorant, you are hidden/unfollowed. Simple as that.

4. Don't be a sore loser/sore winner
    Neener Neener Neener, my guy won! The world is a better place! I made it happen! Go me!
    Well, the end of the world is near. That guy won. The world is a crappier place. How do YOU feel about knowing you made the world a crappier place?
     That isn't cute.

5.  Don't punish yourself
  During the conventions and debates, I channel surfed to see what the talking heads were saying and I ended up wanting to smash things in my house, including my head. Election night isn't the time to explore and get curious about what people are saying. Stick with the channel that you agree with and enjoy. Don't punish yourself and risk a concussion by channel surfing. You don't want to spend election night in the ER. Or maybe you do....

6. Just stay away. 
   If you are afraid of having a Hulk moment, just stay away from social media all together. Don't even watch the news. Or watch it on mute. The news will have percentages and graphics eye assaulting you all night so its not like you actually need to hear them speak. Turn on some of your favorite music or read a book. Every so often glance at the tv to see if anything has changed. Turn off your phone and put it in a drawer.

7. No one cheated.
 When my middle school students are playing a competitive game and one team loses, they often call the other team cheaters. Without hesitation, I explain to them how childish and immature it is to call a person a cheater just because you lost. So don't use that word tomorrow. The likelihood of either side cheating to win in slim to none. Calling people cheaters is one of the lowest forms of immaturity. And guess what? People are ALREADY doing it. It makes my skin crawl.

8. When in doubt, just remember....

No comments: