Look: I’m not here to tell you who to vote for — at least, not here. That way lies insanity. But for most of us, 2022 is important because who we elect as the leader is going to have to take the cudgels of getting us out of a horrible pandemic that we never got a handle on, and all the other complications that come with it.
But if you think that your bet for 2022 is a surefire win because your Facebook wall is dominated by your like-minded friends who all support the same guy, you’re in for quite a surprise.
It’s no secret that Facebook’s algorithm is designed in such a way that it tends to filter out opinions that oppose yours over time. Keep at it long enough, and the site naturally turns your timeline into an echo chamber, giving you the illusion that your favorite candidate has the numbers. Here now are 8 ways to make sure you don’t fall for that trap.
8. Visit the walls of friends you know who don’t share your opinion.
You might have unfollowed them or Facebook might have just filtered them out, but it’s a guarantee you still have some friends who don’t agree with you politically and never bother to engage you. Take a look at their walls and how their political posts are doing. Chances are, you’re going to see a different picture with how their friends respond, and how they might even talk about your candidate. (Also, at this point, I don’t really suggest you engage just yet. This isn’t the reason why you checked.)
7. Check the news sites and see the comments section.
Check out the kind of negative comments your candidate gets in news articles about them. You’d be surprised and possibly even blindsided. Worse, you can probably tell when it’s a paid troll and when it’s not a paid troll — the people who aren’t tend to make some solid points.
6. Look back at your own friend list.
Did you unfriend a bunch of people over politics the last time out? Well, congratulations, you just made sure you really have an echo chamber. That is one opposing viewpoint you are never going to see again, and that’s bound to give you all the wrong ideas.
5. Strike up a conversation with strangers
Let’s face it: your social media is filled with like-minded people. But when you get in a taxi, you don’t know if that taxi driver shares your opinion. Live a little. Ask them who they’re supporting, although again, we don’t suggest you engage in case their answer isn’t to your liking. Let them do the talking. Who knows? They might have some valid ideas.
4. Consider the reasons why you support your candidate
And now, it’s time to take your stand outside of your own echo chamber. Why do you support who you support? What have they done? What can they do? Have you considered as well if the misgivings other people have about your candidate has any basis whatsoever? Once you do that, it would give you a good picture of what other people really think about your candidate.
3. Put yourself in the shoes of those who support other candidates
Surely, most of these people are good people, right? Why would they support their candidate? It can’t just be because “they’re stupid,” full stop. There are things that they hope for and desire if the idealized version of their choice came to pass. What are those things? How far away are those from your hopes and desires? How much common ground is there?
You want to see the situation on the ground? Go where the action is. Register, and you’re going to see just where the wind of sentiment is in your immediate area. It might shock you.
Surprise! You really want to see the situation when it matters the most? Take. An. Active. Role. In It.
Because no matter how hard you scream on social media, your vote will never count until you actually go out and do it.
For similar articles about democracy and the upcoming 2022 Elections, visit YOUthDECIDE.