Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Your Midterm Election Social Media Survival Guide

It’s election season again, ladies and gentlemen. One every two years, the American Public takes to the polls. And this year, being a mid-term, means that people will do research on their candidates and pick who they believe is going to do the best to help America continue to be the best country on Earth, where everyone is treated well and everyone has the freedoms they so richly deserve.

Naw, I’m just kidding. This is America. We just spent the last week making fun of an infant because he had the audacity to be born to the daughter of a President half the people didn’t like, and debating just why our current President wore a tan suit. I mean, in this country it doesn’t matter if you’ve been studying the issues, you have a background in what you talk about, and you can actually make a difference, just as long as your opponent can photoshop you coming out of the House of Worship that we have currently decided is the enemy, and loosely link you to the ethnicity we decide is destroying the country. Someone let me know when we loop around to “Catholic” and “Irish” again, because then it starts to affect me.

In any event, with each election being a private vote cast based on whatever criteria you wish to use, and this being the 21st century where we complain about our privacy while at the same time posting what we had for dinner last week, of course our political views are going to be spread around. And while finding out that your co-worker that you friended to keep the peace or that aunt you haven’t spoken to since we lived in a Megan Fox-filled Transformers World has a different favorite movie, sports team, or brand of beer than you is simply a choice of theirs and something to laugh about when they come into conflict with each other, naturally finding out that they have a different political bent means they’re the enemy and should be immediately shouted down as loudly as possible. 

But, how does one survive this new 21st Century Social Media filled election cycle without having to log out of social media and do actual “work” while at work? Fortunately, Bad Shakespeare is here, once again, to help with this little conundrum. So I present you today with my very special guide to surviving the Mid-term elections just in general.

For instance, that story you’re sharing: has it been fact checked? And by fact checked, I mean actually peer reviewed, which is a fancy term for saying that someone actually took a look at it that knows what they’re talking about? And not just by some blogger with a blog spot account? Because let me tell you the rigorous trials I had to go through in order to get this website: it involved using both my name AND my email address? Never mind, of course, because as long as that sensational news story about the guy running for office that you hate selling babies to worship his false god Xandar who will rise up eventually confirms everything you think without having to do any research of your own, why not?

Remember, too, that facts are a tricky thing. Do facts not confirm your deeply held beliefs about things? Then obviously someone is lying to you, and it’s not the well-educated person who is just in the pocket of Big [insert name of organization that has a stranglehold on everyone except for you here.] It’s important to remember to cling to your made up facts as closely as possible. I mean, “experts” can say one thing, but you can obviously tell where a birth certificate has been fabricated, or a video has been edited. 

Also, try to look for buzzwords in whatever article you’re about to share on Facespace or Mybook, or… is it insulting enough to your opponent? Has it changed the name of something to “lame” or “faux” at least once? Because if it’s not using insulting language, then really what is the point? Civility? Peeling past layers of insults to make a coherent argument? In this go-go world of the 21st century, we really don’t have time for such foolishness.

Let’s not forget to be outraged. If you haven’t found a reason to pick up a pitchfork and torch yet, then what’s the point? The smaller the better, because then when something happens that really sets off your outrage meter, then you’ll be all stretched out. A reporter say something stupid, then immediately apologize? He didn’t must mean nothing by it, he obviously hates this country and everyone in it. Remember, nothing is too small to get offended about: There were actual protests against the Daredevil movie not because Ben Affleck was in it, but because it was offensive to blind people despite being a 30 year old comic book. If you look at anything hard enough, you can get offended by it.

Also remember to listen to celebrities, reality show stars, and singers. They clearly have some kind of access to some political area that the rest of us aren’t aware of. A celebrity say something stupid about politics? Make sure you organize a mass boycott of their next terrible movie/album/whatever until a popular thing comes out and everyone has forgotten about it. Base as much as possible about what a reality TV Star has said, because they’re clearly not doing anything for ratings. Remember, the ability to sell duck whistles or pretend to be someone else on the big screen is an important skill when picking who to follow.

Oh, this is also very important, remember, if the celebrity/reality star says something you disagree with, it’s important to remind everyone as loudly as possible that they’re just a reality star/celebrity and that they shouldn’t voice their opinion. But if they say what you agree with, make sure you share it with as many people as possible, using your own words to say something like “inspiring” or “this is why we should watch this.”

Also, never underestimate the power of caps lock.

I think that just about covers it. If you follow most of this advice, you don’t have to spend any time doing any research, or listening to boring debates, or walking into things with an open mind. Me, personally, I’ll be hanging out over at Myspace until this all blows over, because quite frankly, I’m a little outraged out at this point. 

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