Social Media’s Blind Spot

by Brittani Rast

Social media did not predict the election results. Donald Trump has run parts of his campaign on social media, tweeting nasty things and calling out people for all types of things — twitter jabs for days. In fact, social media was far off from the outcome. Twitter and Facebook did not foresee Donald Trump winning the election. His win is being called “shocking” and “stunning” by media.  As states turned red, Canada’s immigration website was overloaded and crashed.

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https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/161109-twitter-election-feature.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=664&h=441&crop=1

A lot of this has to do with us being able to limit our social circles. On social media, it’s like we live in a personal bubble. On Facebook, if you don’t like the content someone shares or the opinions they have, then you can simply block them. If blocking is too harsh, then you can unfriend them. You also have the choice of unfollowing their posts. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t block someone whose ideas genuinely hurt other people or those who are vulgar, trolling, and attacking others. It’s okay to some extent, but we sometimes take it too far. We are able to cultivate circles of peers and friends by silencing those who disagree with us. We are not growing as individuals by shutting out challenges to our beliefs.

As a result, this can lead to very biased ideas that are confirmed by chosen friends with similar ideas and beliefs. Some of us are sheltering ourselves from those whose opinions differ. You can block your gun-loving-rebel-flag-waving-uncle or the liberal-pro-lifer-feminist. There is no longer an opportunity to see the whole picture – a spectrum of beliefs. Social media should bring us closer together, but in this way it is separating us. Instead of conversation and diversity in ideas, there is a fragile bubble around us that needs to pop.

Sources:

https://www.cnet.com/news/twitter-facebook-donald-trump-hillary-clinton-president-republican-democrat/

http://nypost.com/2016/11/09/this-election-reminds-us-that-social-media-is-not-reflective-of-real-life/

 

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism