How Social Media is Shaping the 2016 Presidential Debates
Can you even remember what the Presidential debates were like before Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook?
Well, most millennials can’t. Social media has changed the way we watch, think, and listen to the debates. Can you possibly watch the debates without face swapping Trump and Hillary on Snapchat? Can you go through a debate without retweeting a ridiculous meme of Trump’s terrible spray tan or Hillary’s facial expressions when her emails are brought up? Yeah, me neither.
Way before social media took over, journalists weren’t swayed by other’s opinions on the debates because there is no commentator during debates, no one to sway your opinion, just the candidates and the moderator. Journalists had to come up with their own opinions, but not anymore. Now, journalists report on the most popular sayings or what is trending on Twitter. All of our opinions are being swayed by what is said on social media whether we believe it or not.
If you think what the actual candidates say during the debate declares who wins, think again. The controversy over “Who Won the Debate” now takes into consideration who received more attention on social media and what is said on Twitter and Facebook during the debate. Candidates now have to have surrogates who write on social media in real time during the debates so that the candidates are actually being heard.
This debate more than any other, has been a constant battle of “Trump is inappropriate” and “Hillary should be in jail for deleting emails” and less about what the candidates will actually do and HOW. Is this due to the fact that social media is digging up any information possible to sway voters? This seems awfully similar to ABC’s hit show “Scandal,” but I just want to know who the real Olivia Pope of Washington D.C. is.
The goal of these debates isn’t about what the candidates will do for the American people, but rather who has the best saying to tweet or who has the best expression you can make into memes. Is social media to blame or are the American people forgetting what the debates are really about? Either way, face swapping and putting filters on Trump and Hillary are absolutely hysterical and maybe that is why most of us are even watching these two battle over and over again.
In fact, the most retweeted tweets this year from the candidates are:
Trump “supporting” Hispanics…
Then Trump goes a tad overboard, or does he?
And Hillary’s most retweeted response…
Then, during the third Presidential debate last night, they start arguing about puppets. Yes, our two Presidential nominees went back and forth about puppets.
When speaking about President Vladimir Putin and how Clinton thinks Trump is working with him, she says, “Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as President of the United States.”
They keep going on and on and Trump says, “No you’re the puppet!”
*Cue the puppet memes*
This isn’t Sesame Street, let’s get moving with the debate.
No matter who you’re voting for, you can see that this Presidential election is like no other. Social media is playing a huge role in this campaign and is shaping the way we view these candidates. No other election has had this huge presence of Snapchat filters and memes all over the internet, or even ridiculous amounts of articles over Hillary’s pant suit and Ivanka Trump’s wardrobe featuring her $158 dress at the convention (why is this even relevant?).
Believe it or not America, social media is running 2016’s Presidential Election.
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