On ye old Twitter this week, I’ve come across a lot of discussion over whether bloggers, especially ‘big bloggers’, should use their platform to talk about politics.
This is more of a personal account of the situation than a pros and cons debate. I’ve seen a few of those so thought I’d share what’s stopping me talking. Here’s a great pros and cons post over at abbeylouisarose.co.uk though!
Just because somebody is a big blogger, it doesn’t mean that they know enough about politics to be able to confidently discuss their views. They might also want to keep their blog as their ‘happy place’ or neutral and that should be okay.
There are so many reasons why people wouldn’t share their political views on their blogs or social media. It seems that people want others to speak up, but only if it is aligned with their views. The fallout from just a few tweets in the past tells me it’s a risk to put up political views on my blog. People get so nasty over a different opinion. I’ve even seen people try to cost others their jobs over a quick tweet. Is it any wonder people are scared to discuss their views on anything important?
There are of course so many reasons to share views as well! I have often talked about how more open discussion is needed when it comes to politics and will happily discuss them with anyone. However, dealing with the fallout from some discussion has changed my mind a little in this past year. I thought it was okay to talk about the current state of politics, but it only seems to be okay on social media if you have a popular opinion. As soon as you begin to question a few things, people try to tear your apart rather than provide answers. Is it worth the drama? I certainly think so, and am quite confident when it comes to discussing political matters, but I can see why others avoid it!
I have spoken about why I didn’t vote in the EU Referendum, but its not because I don’t know anything about politics, it was more because I didn’t like how the discussion was often turned into an argument rather than education. My vote wasn’t swayed either way, not until too late anyway.
The truth is, I have no end of things to say when it comes to politics, but my opinions are very often unpopular. I’m unbiased, I stand with no side, and dig for truth rather than retweeting or sharing things. I check stats have come from a reliable source before sharing, and more often than not, I realise that the original material that sent me looking is incorrect or exaggerated. If I try to tell people why I think that, I am called names, unfollowed, attacked even. Unless of course I happen to be sticking up for a popular opinion at the time.
Two of my closest friends have fallen out with me this year, because I didn’t outright agree with their political stance. I didn’t disagree either, I just questioned a couple of things. One of them called me names online and stopped speaking to me. We’ve been best friends for 7 years. This to me is so worrying. If you can’t discuss something like this with friends, how is it going to be when you try talking online about it all.
As an honest and (ahem…) opinionated blogger, I feel that I should be speaking up about these things, but even I’m not sure anymore. Imagine if my blog posts were seen by most of a generation. I’m not sure if I’d just stay neutral as well.
The internet is amazing, online communities are amazing, but they can all be a bit one sided. The internet also means that you can’t take back what you said, or change your mind, or put out a statement you’re not sure of. It can breed nastiness amongst people and bullying without people even realising they’re doing it.
This group mentality that people online have, especially on Twitter, can be a great thing, but it can also be really detrimental to open discussion on major topics.
I usually have a good tweet about what’s going on, but lately, I haven’t said anything because I’m just not sure it’s worth it. I don’t agree with a lot of what is being said online lately. Instead of being able to tell people why I don’t, I end up having to constantly defend myself. I am capable of doing so, but not sure it’s worth it, as it doesn’t seem to be about discussion, it seems to be more about everyone having the same outlook. And they don’t. Nobody thinks exactly like another person, that’s the beauty of it all. People say we’ll end up like George Orwell’s 1984 if we keep going the way we are, but I already feel like we’re there, because opinions are forced on you and if you question them, that’s it!
Should bloggers discuss politics? It’s up to the individual. They shouldn’t be told either way by anybody else. It’s their platform, their content, and their little space on the internet.
Realistically though, if they do, they have to be prepared for some fallout and possibly some of their hard work being undone. Is it worth the risk?
What do you think? Should bloggers use their platform for issues such as politics?