3 Reasons Why People Should Talk Politics on Social Media

Over 14% of the entire world is on Facebook. Let that sink in for a minute….

And on and on. That’s not including Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or Snapchat. So, it’s safe to say that a huge chunk of the world is on social media.

What does this mean for political discourse? Many folks get quite riled up during online discussions — and social media has brought out the worst of the trolls. The result of such conversations includes but is not limited to anger, hatred, obsession, and night sweats.

Be that as it may, Cinemulatto believes the statistics provide three reasons why we should all be talking about politics on social media.

This is the “national discourse” we’ve been waiting for.

Hell, it’s the international discourse. Although the posts we see tend to align with our political views, if we happen to comment, share, or like anything that “the other side” posts, there’s a strong likelihood we’ll start seeing that side’s news and views.

Didn’t our college Feminism 101, Ethnic Studies, and Political Science courses all stress the importance of “national dialogue”? With 14% of the world on Facebook, for instance, isn’t this the best (and only) possible place to engage in such dialogue with potentially hundreds of friends and non-friends, instead of a 10-student discussion section?

The algorithm knows.

Social media knows what evils lurks in the hearts of men (and women, and tweens, and marketers). Again, from the info above, we know that our social media activity informs the posts that show up in our feed. The more we discuss, the more likely we are to get more information on the politics shaping the status quo, for better or worse.

I was recently castigated on Facebook for having only three Republican friends in the non-social media ‘real world’. In a rare moment of unbridled comment anger, I cursed him out then blocked him (insert self-satisfied emoticon here). The unpleasant and woebegone asshole claimed that communicating with Republicans on social media didn’t count.

Do Republicans stop being people once they start typing? Is Facebook not representative of the general population? (Stating here for the third time: 14%.)

When all is said and done, it’s okay to weed people out.

Like so many others on social media, I’ve gotten back in touch with people from the past I might never have otherwise encountered again. These include people from high school. Relatives I haven’t seen since childhood. People I never knew existed but I now know are family members, or friends, or kindred social media spirits.

The odds, then, of interacting with people who have more differences than commonalities are dramatically increased. Another thing that skyrockets: the chances of finding out that someone who you trusted, respected, or even loved holds beliefs that you find rotten to the core. When this happens, it’s disappointing at best and distressing at worst. Still, perhaps without such open discussion, we’d never know what “lurks within”.

I’ll keep talking politics on social media. At the very, very least, it keeps my brain active and makes me think about that other side. Trolls be damned.

 

 

 

The New Tragic Mulatto —
on Social Media?

I took a very informal poll (of like, two people) to find out if most friends on social media are like-minded and homogeneous.

Question: Do you have a very diverse mix of friends on social media or do they tend to be the same? Like, filmmakers, artists, queers, white people, people of color, mods, activists, Republicans, or what?

Answer 1: I have a mix. No religious freaks that I know of, or any hard Republicans. At least as far as Twitter goes. My Facebook is way more diverse. I have a lot of musician friends on Facebook, more than Twitter.

Answer 2: Hmm. Mostly similar, i.e., progressive, artists, queer or queer-supportive, mix of POC/white. Small number are old high school friends or relatives who are more conservative that I don’t interact with really. Should probably unfriend those people!

I asked because I realized recently: I have a very diverse mix of friends on social media. They come from all walks of life, and yes, they include filmmakers, artists, queers, white people, people of color, 60s music aficionados, left-wing activists, Republicans, and “or what”. I have rich friends. I have poor friends. CEOs. VPs. The unemployed. Hustlers. Thieves. Authors. Atheists. Christians. Actors. Poets. Politicians.¬†Comedians. Kids. Just about every race, creed, ethnicity, and religious belief is represented.

Some of my Facebook “friends” I don’t know all that well, but I respect them. Even so, more often than not, I feel as though I don’t quite fit in anywhere.

Outside of social media, I have very few close friends, or rather, confidantes. This could be part pride, part laziness, part same feeling of not always fitting in. Feelings of not quite being part of the pack, I know, are common. If they weren’t, there’d be no such thing as teen angst.

But I’m not a teen. And I consider myself a pretty confident person. So what’s up with this “not fitting in”, which seems to be thrown into greater relief on social media?

Could this be the New Tragic Mulatto?

Granted, the fictional stereotype¬†involved nasty things like self-loathing, depression, and sometimes suicide. So extreme! The New Tragic Mulatto isn’t so much tragic as kinda-sorta listless sometimes. How would I define this archetype?

The New Tragic Mulatto is an entity on social media who, despite having a diverse social network, feels “not quite [x] enough” in many virtual communities, such as not quite queer enough, or not quite POC enough, or not quite 60s enough. Speaking in situational terms: she’s on the periphery of the periphery. The New Tragic Mulatto often can’t quite keep up with the rules of any given social group, always seeking to do and be something different from what the group dictates. As a result, she ends up bringing this dynamic to the non-virtual world, meaning she mostly avoids social events and goes to sleep early.

Well, I don’t *entirely* avoid social events, but if one is feeling like an outsider is she really present at the event?

Whether this phenomena is truly tragic or a run of the mill midlife crisis is anyone’s guess. Or maybe Mulattos are onto something that transcends any of the dynamics created by their social groups, online or otherwise. Social ties, after all, are ultimately a good thing, outsider status notwithstanding.

I’ll think about all this again in the morning, after a good night’s early sleep.