Using social media to “dumb down” politics

“If you don’t vote, you don’t matter.”
– Willie Stark, “All The King’s Men”

Two weeks from today will be Election Day. That means I have 2 weeks to figure out who I’m casting my vote for. 14 days…. Oh boy.

I consider myself pretty up-to-date and worldly for a 25-year old female. I listen to KYW 1060 in my car (started off listening for the traffic reports but now have grown accustom to listening to it all the time), watch the 5 & 6 o’clock news reports while at the gym and am constantly checking online news sites throughout the day for breaking news. You can say it’s the journalist in me to be in the know at all times. However, when it comes to political issues, my mind is blown. I have no idea which way is up and struggle trying to figure out who stands for what and why.

Last night, the final presidential debate before the election was aired. I have watched the 2 previous debates (I skipped the vice president one) and have tried very hard to listen and hear what both candidates are saying. After 15 minutes in, I reached for my iPhone to pull up Twitter, my transcript of the debate. My boyfriend joked that Twitter “dumbed” it down for me, and in all reality, it does. I can follow along more closely and understand more of what is being said with Twitter than I could just sitting and watching.

The only way I’ve been able to get through these presidential debates is by following along with social media. It makes it easier to understand and actually more enjoyable to watch. Yes, you have to weed through the pro-Obama / pro-Romney tweets in order to get unbiased information but in the end, I feel more knowledgeable about what just happened rather than just staring at the TV trying to decipher it.

I’ve also learned to use Twitter, Facebook and a few other online sites to break down the issues a little more clear and concise the following day. Fact checking everything  has become common nature for me. As a voting citizen, I have the right to know the facts and educate myself on the policies and issues that are at hand during this 2012 election year. I’ve learned though that if you don’t look for those answers, you’re not helping yourself. No one is going to hand you the information, you have to do the research in order to educate yourself.

Like I said, I have 2 weeks, 14 days to make my decision. When I do make my decision, and I will because I believe everyone should activate their right to vote, I will know that I came to that decision on my own. My opinion matters, my vote matters and so does yours.

Links I’ve found helpful:

Today is the day to start something new

“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”
– Thomas Jefferson

I’ve been wanting to start a blog for forever now. Unfortunately, when I want to try something new I make a million excuses against it (must be the procrastination gene I have within me). “I have nothing really to blog about.” “Who wants to read about my thoughts and feelings?” and the most frequent one, “I’ll start a blog after I finish doing [insert other activity that probably wasn’t that important but to me, was… like laundry].” 

A few weeks ago I was talking to a very good friend and mentor about my interest in blogging. The conversation went something like…

Me: I keep saying i want to start blogging… but I have no idea what to blog about! So, instead, I get discouraged and don’t start one.
Good Friend: You’ve tried blogging before and you were good at it!
Me: Yeah but that was easy because it was for something: radio, student ambassador, internship.
Good Friend: You have opinions on stuff…just start writing!
Me: That’s the problem, I have too many opinions
Good Friend: So just start rambling and eventually you’ll get into a groove….

So, I’m taking a leap of faith and following my friend’s advice – I’m going to start blogging and see where it goes. This blog will sort of be like my life: unsure where it’s going to go but certain that it will end up somewhere good and promising.