The Sunday Natter: 15 things I’ve learnt about the election from social media

Contrary to the reaction from most of social media and the rioters down in London, the Tories claimed victory once again on Friday after a long awaited, and for me rather disappointing, end to the general 5 yearly election. I don’t consider my blog an appropriate place to discuss my heated politic views but I do want to point out just how much I’ve learnt from being an of age adult eligible to have a say in what I believe is right for this country. It’s no secret that I have zero empathy for David Cameron; I’m left wing and always have been. I don’t agree with the way the UK has shaped over the past 5 years of a Tory parliament. As middle class citizens with constant undergoing problems, me and my family have felt the vicious force of very real issues been done in the name of austerity. Yes, we live in a democratic world but that doesn’t mean people do not have the right to continue to passionately fight for their selection and stand up for the future they are fearful of. I would never troll someone for their choices but I do have the courage to speak about how that choice will upset and affect me and many others. I don’t necessarily believe in protests either and I certainly am disgusted by monuments being defaced and vandalised but sometimes, rallying is the only way voices will be heard and if we don’t attempt to win, we will lose. 99% of people are not there to cause trouble but instead wish to go beyond the decision made. It’s the minority that ruin it and often, cleverly crafted by national sources, receive the most attention. 

Aside from the heavy, uncontrollable spiralling economic phenomenon, it’s also been extremely interesting to watch the many different views thrown together and unravelled on a side of life that is separate from the things we are fed in front of us. That is of course social media; the internet holds an incredible amount of power and is responsible for so many thoughts, feelings, emotions and rescues. In this overridden brain of mine I’ve formed a perspective of what this certain event has taught me and for today’s chatty Sunday post I wanted to share with you 15 points I have discovered via Twitter and Facebook.

1) If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry | The numerous amount of hilariously created politics related content has got me through this stressful ordeal. From Ed Miliband’s appropriate-for-almost-anything ‘wrong’ speech, David Cameron’s rap and victory dance, and the mocking Nigel Farage jokes have done the job of slightly easing the tension and seeing the brighter side.

2) Word of mouth holds extreme power | Sometimes what you hear being said and what actually happens are two different things. It’s easy to lie and even easier to continue those lies.

3) The media can be extremely brainwashing | The lack of coverage, pernickety bullying and selective reporting couldn’t make the bias nature more clear. It’s important to look beneath what you are shown because it can suck you under like a Dyson Hoover. 

4) Fandoms for politicians actually exist | Gone are the days where admiring dedication was only for music, activities and hobbies. The #MiliFandom hashtag was a definite favourite of mine.

5) Everyone seems to hate the Tories | Out of the thousands of widespread individuals active on social media, there’s only been around 0.5% which I’ve seen are pro Cameron staying. By all means I believe everybody has their reasons, their own mind and right to decide and I don’t demean that but I just don’t understand how on earth he managed to win a majority with all this hatred towards him (yes I know the actual facts as to how and no, this isn’t a probing for the smarminess of anti socialists).

6) There are people out there who thought voting UKIP was what this country needed | A crazy and rather horrifying thought. I couldn’t ever imagine a parliament filled with racism and misogyny. 

7) The internet is an extremely angry place | This election has brought out an ugly side to people and although I don’t believe ridding yourself of all negativity is the answer, I think muting the troublesome statements that are only going to trigger disheartened rage is something you should consider. Things can get messy and I personally like to avoid that.

8) It doesn’t matter what your decision was, you will be hated upon anyway | It’s a no win situation here. I respect the fact no human is the same, we all have different views (but UKIP dear lord how, WHY?!) and I do find it quite bizarre how aggressive some people can become. Being slaughtered and demonised because of your views isn’t okay. People are so quick to judge you for one simple decision and I don’t think they realise how hurtful this can be. It shouldn’t be a war against each other.

9) The difference between opinion and debate is yet to be clarified | The population of Twitter especially seem to have a problem with identifying which term they are using. Debating does not mean ordering around and forcing your believed to be correct opinion down someone’s throat, telling them they’re wrong and vice versa. There’s a huge difference between speaking your mind and simply being offensively rude. Verbal violence is mean, guys. 

10) The advantage of being able to vote wasn’t used efficiently | Justifying not voting is all fine and dandy but I don’t think you are in a position to complain about the results after it’s all over and done with (no vote no voice and all that). It’s been made clear that people have significant issues about how the country is run but by not being bothered about voting you’re contributing absolutely nothing to change. Going by the percentage of people who failed to turn up and take all but 10 seconds to cross a box I’m pretty certain this gap has affected the outcome. You don’t have to be an expert in politics, if I’m anything to go by then you can still be learning and make a radical decision. Our previous generation fought left, right and centre for the right to vote fairly, the least we can do is thank them.

11) It’s often best to stay quiet when all hell breaks loose | Avoiding interaction during a mass social media brawl is the way to escape peacefully. Those messages from certain barbaric Twitter users are best to be left alone and don’t even deserve to be acknowledged. Plus, that 140 character limit just isn’t enough to express your notions.

12) Voting isn’t official until you confirmed it on FB and hash-tagged with the exclusive emoji on Twitter | Hands up if you did both *raises hand with shifty expression*. I often wander what we ever did without the option of sharing every step we take to the world.

13) The ratio of intellectual to people who haven’t bothered to do their research is in favour of the latter | I’m not saying there aren’t a big bunch of sensible people who do speak the truth and use their knowledge in a appropriate, calming manner, there are but there’s also some who just use politics as an excuse to bicker and use the opposite opinion as a way to throw vindictive insults around to strangers they know nothing about. Your life may be rosey but for some people it’s a great struggle, so please bear that in mind. 

14) Government need to introduce politics in schools | Furthermore to the previous point, I think it should be necessary for the younger generation to study and learn the ins and outs of political parties and direct that in a educated manner. I also believe the voting age should be lowered to 16 because from what I have seen it’s the teens who seem to know the score and the direction they want to follow as they grow up and develop to fend for themselves. 

15) A strong percentage of young people were courageous enough to hold their hand up and allow their voices to be heard | Despite the figures, it was amazing to see so many new 18-22 year old voters become involved with the election and be mature about it. It’s a shame some were and still are ridiculed for getting their thoughts out there. For once, it’s something important and worth talking about. I know I’d much rather hear what youths are passionate about than who’s next to get botox.

What have you learnt from this election? I’d love to know your opinion (because y’know, everyone has the right to speak freely as-long as it’s not going to mutilate anyone else).

Bridie x

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