Social media–especially Twitter–has been impacted by this past presidential election. Not a day that goes by where the media doesn’t go absolutely wild over Trump’s blatant, and often overdone, tweets. The company and its founders are benefiting greatly from the undeniable attention the social network is receiving.
However, active Twitter users know that it is not just the President who is loud on Twitter. It’s also the people who oppose him.
Particularly for the past ten months, Twitter has been a political battleground. Many passionate people use Twitter to relieve political angst, often in a way that leads to a loss of followers. Trust me, I know it all too well.
But with so much social media usage centering around politics, there’s a lot of talk that comes with no action. So we have to ask: which users are truly passionate about their political beliefs, and who are just being obnoxious?
According to the National Journal, only one percent of Americans engage in physical, real-world political actions deemed appropriate for model citizens and patriots. These actions include, but are not limited to, donating money to organizations benefitting your beliefs, calling elected officials, town-hall participation, writing opinion articles for local publications, and simply volunteering in your community.
Here is where the numbers don’t add up. Of the almost 80% of the United States that uses social media, 24% have a Twitter account. Two-thirds of those users claim they get political on Twitter, a very overwhelming percentage. This is why we constantly see political traffic on our timelines.
If you followed the math correctly, you’ll see that the numbers don’t add up. 1% of Americans are walking the walk, so to speak, but 16% of Twitter users are talking the talk.
So what does this mean? It means that we, as phone-addicted Americans, need to be sure that we aren’t hypocritical. If you’re bashing the GOP over healthcare, or yelling at Democrats about protests, tweet it all you want. But your arguments are essentially of low value until you do something about it. Call your senator, protest with signs, make a petition, do something.
For goodness’ sake, though, just please stop fighting with your twice-removed cousin in the comments of your Facebook status. It gets you nothing but uninvited to the family reunion.
Tweet all you want, America. But make sure you’re taking action, and not just complaining.