For many, the General Election was the first opportunity to participate in voting and this, unsurprisingly, led to many using Social Media to share this experience. Facebook allowed users to post that they had voted and alongside this write a message or comment. I saw many of Facebook friends take up the opportunity and comments ranged from paying homage to the Suffragettes, to a more general celebration of being able to vote. This eagerness was somewhat surprising to me as it is often said young people aren’t interested in politics.
However, with this eagerness came those who wish to criticise and this is what led to me writing this piece. A minority chose this opportunity to make fun of those who had written their political opinions via Facebook. One is particularly prominent in my mind, stating “it’s amazing how many people have become political geniuses recently.’ Whilst, I understand some people are not particularly diplomatic or complex with their arguments, this General Election was one of the few times I have seen people my age discussing politics willingly, and comments like this one are damaging.
Furthermore, Facebook was one of the biggest platforms for this kind of discussion and allows for lively debate between friends. It is true it is unlikely that everything one person says is completely true, much is opinion, but dismissing it in this way is not productive. There are many who do not even vote, as a society we should be encouraging political debate, not shutting it down when someone expresses their views.
A General Election is an opportunity for people to express their views, whether it be in the ballot box or on Facebook. Don’t allow anyone to stop you expressing your opinion, especially on a personal forum such as Facebook. Be bold, be brave and get people talking! The end of the General Election should not be the end of political discussion…when in doubt, post it.