It’s almost physically impossible to ignore the madness going on with the 2016 presidential election. Republican candidate Hillary Clinton and Democratic candidate Donald Trump have had quite the batshit crazy, full-blown war during this election and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down a bit. Many people are questioning whether or not social media is the cause to the madness and I would say it’s not necessarily the cause, but it sure isn’t helping.
What we need to understand is that the use of social media is rising at an absurd rate. Yes, we had social media for previous elections, but not nearly as many people used it and were dependent on it, and that is clearly a game changer. Not only are supporters of each party constantly fighting with each other and sharing opinions left and right on every single social media outlet, but the candidates are also going at it as well. Yes we had Twitter in 2012, but we also didn’t have Obama telling Mitt Romney to “delete his account.”
Another possible explanation is that the candidates are absolute lunatics, which very well may be the case, and if not it by no means helps the situation. I understand that social media can misconstrue things: they can cut apart recordings to make it look like candidates said things they didn’t, they can Photoshop pictures, they can dig up irrelevant stories from years and years ago and twist them, but this only gets them so far. This is happening because the candidates are taking full advantage of this social media craziness and absolutely loving it. Once they find or create something to use against the other candidate, nothing is stopping them. They are sucking up every tweet, Facebook post, and video they can possibly find to upright trash the other candidate, and the supporters are loving it too.
There is actually a website called Clinton vs. Trump: Live Twitter Stats, and it is a live monitor of a ton of different stats all about their Twitter’s. Here are some of the stats given:
- Longest gap between tweets
- Clinton – 18 hours
- Trump – 8 hours and 37 minutes
- Average per day
- Clinton – 18
- Trump – 12
- One-day record
- Clinton – 111
- Trump – 45
There are also some other funny stats like, how many times Donald Trump tweets “Sad!” and how many times Hillary Clinton signs her tweets “-H.” There is also a section that shows the tweets that got the top numbers of retweets, and Clinton’s is “Delete your account,” and Trump’s is “How long did it take your staff of 823 people to think that up–and where are your 33,000 emails that you deleted?” It really is far from normal that their top tweets having nothing to do with any of their beliefs, anything political, logical, or having to do with our country, they are just blatant insults.
Although I agree this whole election is just not right, but if all of their supporters are turning to social media, why shouldn’t they be? If that’s where they’re going to get the most attention from their supporters, why not take advantage of it? According to an article called 2016 Presidential Election Circus, about two-thirds of 18 to 29-year-olds said that social media is the most helpful way of learning things about politics, so at least while they’re bashing candidates and fighting with each other they’re learning!
Clearly this is part the candidates causing this hectic election, but it is also part social media allowing all of this happen, spreading it all like rapid-fire. Maybe next election the candidates will be a bit calmer, but social media is constantly on the rise so we just have to keep attempting to keep up with technology and not let it ruin us.