Does no one understand the concept of sociological echo chambers? (I registered to vote in Kansas today, yay!)

America!

(Non-Partisan-esque Portion)

I’ve seen this logic used more and more lately: “I don’t know any (insert candidate) supporters, how the **** are they leading in the polls?” (always a four letter word in there, lol)

Advertisement

This is usually followed by a call to “look at the candidates Facebook page and see how many of your friends like them, only 5% support (other candidate)“

Now, while I’m certain this goes both ways, I’m a no good filthy liberal who lives in the mid-west. I didn’t have a Facebook account until I got to college and, as such, the majority of my friends are people I met in Architecture School who are, for the most part, liberal too. However, I have a couple of “friends” from high school too who are Republicans, who are the ones making these posts. They can’t seem to fathom the concept that while only 5% of their friends actively support (Candidate X) that only 5% of my friends support (Candidate Y). The overlap between these two groups is small because we tend to befriend people with similar beliefs and values to those we hold.

(As sung by Jon Bon Jovi) Oooooooh, we’re half way there, woooooo-oooooooh it’s a long political post.

(More Partisan)

This is only amplified by the fact that, although I support Hillary Clinton, I haven’t liked her Facebook page because in my mind that’s a political statement that I prefer not to make. I don’t feel that that alone is a good descriptor of who I am as a person because, without context, it leads to stereotyping. In fact, most of my friends who also occasionally make political posts in support of Hillary Clinton who don’t like her page either. Hell, I registered as an Independent today even though I support the Democrats’ platform almost entirely.

Advertisement

Finally, there’s the third flaw in this rationale. There are a lot of people who either don’t care or choose not to engage. The see it all happening but have no desire to be a part of the political kerfuffle. They may vote, they may not, but they are more than likely a significant portion of your friend group. Not everybody chooses to weigh in on everything, I try to stay the heck away from political discussions unless they can be had in person (although I will talk politics all day long in person, ask the Wichitoppos).

You made it to the end! Have another Viper.

So, all in all, it’s about understanding your biases. Just because you (or I) don’t have a lot of direct contact with people of the opposite end of the political spectrum doesn’t mean they don’t exist or they aren’t important.