Why Politics Don’t Work on Social Networks

Political Criticism - The Anti-Social MediaThe American political dialogue sucks, and social networks aren’t helping.

Social networks are terrible for politics. They allow for no nuance. You can’t solve huge issues like entitlement reform, social security, and tax reform in 140 characters. The best solutions will never be that simple.

To give an example, I visited my parents yesterday. By chance caught a glance of my Dad’s Facebook newsfeed. I saw a update from one of the candidates running for president, and I couldn’t believe how vague and stupid it was.

It read:

President Obama is urging Congress to pass part of his American Jobs Act in another campaign speech today. The American people have waited long enough. It is time for real leadership. It’s time for solutions.

What the hell does that mean?

Regardless of which candidate posted this update and who is attacking who, the language is so insanely vague it means nothing. It criticizes the President for offering no solutions, when it offers no solutions itself. If that’s supposed to be “real leadership,” I’m about to run and hide.

That status is also intentionally vague, almost to the point you can read it as praise. Look what happens when you remove the let two sentences.

President Obama is urging Congress to pass part of his American Jobs Act in another campaign speech today. The American people have waited long enough.

See how much of a change that is? It’s a whole new status with a completely different context.

I realize we will never get rid of people talking about politics online. People will always need to vent their crazy opinions, no matter which way they lean. But we can’t keep this kind of dialogue on our social networks. These “discussions” aren’t discussions. They solve nothing. They offer no solutions the challenges faced by Americans every day.

Let’s stop wasting our time and energy on the political machine on our social networks, and use those networks to make the world a little bit better. Research the problems. Develop solutions that work. And stop attacking every single idea before it’s given a chance to fail on its own.

Don’t we have better things to do than sit around and complain all day?

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GAH! I can't stand it. What am I saying, I love it. I love watching a Facebook thread that goes on and on between people who thought that they were "friends" becoming enemies within seven inches of dialogue. It's hilarious. I truly believe that if you have a real opinion about something your friends will know it already; if you're posting it on the internet, you're probably just trolling for a reaction.

It's easier for me to either hide or unfriend those that make their FB pages/Twitter political forums with links and polls. They were either way right or far left. You asks to be a friend on Facebook or follow you on Twitter so you can tell me what a socialist you are? Uh, not so much.

I've found that on Twitter and Facebook, this is true. However, I've been lucky enough to come across some brilliant users on Google+ that I chat with about religion and politics often. It's always intelligent and usually well thought out. G+ seems to have opened up a whole other world that Twitter and FB were limiting.

Yeah, Mexican politics spam social networks too. It is also dumb and ugly.

I might enjoy that only because I don't read Spanish.