Monday, September 17, 2012


by Kate Collins

This is not a political commentary but it is a commentary on politics. Or specifically how the barrage of political information affects us.

The first things I see when I log onto Yahoo are stories about the candidates, usually with photos that make them look silly. I go to the Huffington Post, same thing. NBC, CBS, ABC, USA Today, ditto. Now I can’t even scroll through Facebook postings without seeing a plethora of political cartoons, captions, or slams. Will they change my mind? No.

How about you? I’d like to get a tally of your responses and report about it on my Facebook page. Will you help by answering the following questions?

Do you read all the Facebook postings about various candidates or do you read just the ones you agree with?

Do the ads on TV help you decide whom to vote for? How much do they influence you? A lot? A little? Not at all?

Are you swayed by Internet memes? 

Do you read the memes that pop up on your Facebook page or do they anger you?

Thank you for your input. I appreciate your help.



Donna B. Russell said...

I read posts from both sides, but only if they are respectful, factual, and give unbiased, legitimate sources.

Ads on TV, Internet memes, cartoons, rants, and belittling comments do not sway me at all with regard to the candidates. I block those that are offensive, and I try to encourage people to be respectful of each other.

What influences my decision is what the candidates themselves have to say about the issues, whether or not they have some kind of detailed plan for implementing their ideas, their ability to maintain their composure under stress, how much they identify with all the diverse people they hope to govern, and their willingness to admit they may not be able to accomplish everything they would like to--in other words, they are realistic.

Anonymous said...

No, they're not going to change my mind either but I read it all. It would seem that given the same information we would have somewhat similar opinions. We are not given the same information though. I don't watch Fox and many don't watch anything else. Still, I look for things to agree about. Still looking because I haven't found anything.

Katreader said...

I'm sick and tired of seeing all the political posts on Facebook and wonder how I can still be friends with some people after reading some of the stuff they post! Ads don't sway me-it's what the politician stands for-although I really don't like any politician!

Amanda Towne said...

They don't necessarily change my mind, but I will sometimes read articles that friends post IF they aren't derogatory.

Some of the FB cartoons make me laugh, but it is upsetting to me when they're mean-spirited.

Ramona said...

I'm not swayed by any of it.

People express themselves in different ways. I think Facebook and other social media are as much as outlet for frustration as a place to socialize. Better to pitch a Facebook fit, than one IRL.

Mia said...

I don't pay much attention to political ads or postings on facebook. I just wish there was a way to opt out of seeing any of them. The ones I agree with don't annoy me, but the ones I don't like I'd rather not see. The only way to fix that is to block them ALL and I'd be perfectly fine with that option if I had it. If a voter doesn't know by NOW which box to check, they might as well play rock paper scissors in the booth.

TV ads have in the past helped me decide. I'm in NC and when Libby Dole's attack ads against Kaye Hagen started, I had never heard of Kaye Hagen, so I decided to check her out. The more I read, the more I liked her. So in that case, those ads helped me feel better about casting a vote for 'the other guy' just to end the reign of someone I felt didn't deserve the office in the first place. But mostly, now, the ads only irritate me because they are almost ALL I see.

Internet memes do not sway me at all. If anything they give me a giggle, well, the ones I bother to even look at anyway.

Some of the ones that pop up on my facebook page annoy me, others anger me and some I agree with. The ones I disagree with, I hide. Some days I hide more than I leave.

Linda McDonald said...

None of the tv ads sway me in the least. I am tired of them when they begin and really sick and tired of them by the time the election is over.

I don't read any of the political stuff on facebook. I'm on facebook for fun, to see travel and family photos, to just catch up to see what my friends are doing, and to read about my favorite author's books. No political stuff for me.

I will sometimes watch or read stories that have to do with the issues as I do want to be informed, but I already know where I stand politically. So, all the ads, the cartoons, etc, won't influence me to change my mind.

Tarri said...

I am already sick of the ads. I can't imagine being in one of the targeted states.

I hate the shares on facebook, I wish there was a two shares a day rule. I have tried hiding certain groups, but it is almost impossible to keep track of the comings and goings of my actual friends. I have gone so far as to have a couple of people (one is my aunt) not show up on my page, because the things they show are; a) untrue and b) opposite of my views.

I have also unfriended three people for posting nasty, race tinged shares. I can walk on by a lot of stuff, but I don't want racist friends.

Kate Collins said...

Great comments! Keep 'em coming!

Anonymous said...

Ronna--Absolutely despise political adds on FB!!!!! Haven't spoken to ANYONE who has changed their views because of FB political thoughts----OR---TV, radio, newspaper, etc. adds. All these millions, probably billions of dollars wasted on "pick me" adds. Have 3 or 4 debates on TV/radio--printed COMPLETELY in newspapers and leave it at that. Then donate ALL the rest of the campaign funds to charities of your own choosing---AND REALLY HELP OTHER PEOPLE!!!!

Deanna Maxwell said...

They don't influence me. I think they are entertaining. :)

Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

I try to stay away from posting anything political on my Facebook, and I ignore the ones that my friends post for the most part. It always astounds me the posts I see from friends on both sides of the political spectrum, how completely biased they are, or insulting. I think a lot of people don't take the time to really check the "facts" in articles when it comes to politicians.

I try hard to read both sides of an argument and search for the truth that usually lies somewhere in between. But the only thing political you're likely to find on my Facebook or blog is an endorsement of Rick from The Walking Dead for president, because I am ready for a Ricktatorship! ;)

Dru said...

I don't read them and I'm disheartened by the viciousness of some of the things I've seen.

I've had to remove some people from my news feed so I don't see it.

Will all these political news change my mind? No.

Candace said...

Kate, I'm politically active and I treasure our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech. I read the FB posts-one this morning was from a dear person who is only informed with "her" side of the issues but so what? I love the debate and I enjoy asking people to define what they believe and why they believe it. These are the same questions I ask myself.

So, I read what I can, when I can, but I don't screen any of it. The preponderance of political ads is annoying but I'm adept at ignoring side panels on FB and I don't watch tv. Instead, I look at the ads on Youtube to see them without time constraints.

Having traveled around the world and having seen the myriad of election posters plastering, re-plastering up city billboards and bathrooms, I'm ok with all sides expressing their views passionately in the USA. At least I'm hearing viewpoints and not just seeing a picture. People don't have to agree with me. I would just like them to defend their convictions.

Great questions, Kate! ;-)