Why You Should Listen To Candidates and Not What is Trending


By Shea Garner

Now that we're balls-deep in the presidential debates, it's hard to ignore the influence that social media has had on the 2012 election. No one seems afraid to voice his or her political opinion now that every Peter, Paul and Mary has some form of social networking outlet to utilize. Not that it's a bad thing—but where do we draw the line?

The first two presidential, as well as vice presidential, debates have been wildly entertaining. YouTube's politics channel live-streamed a high quality broadcast of the verbal smack-down, which is still available for those who missed its first live air-play. The web is a generous tool when it comes to unearthing facts about different parties or candidates.

While access to any information about the future of our country is great, enduring the extensive live-tweeting during these events is damn near impossible From the humorous quips to the misinformed anarchists, the Twittersphere is full of assholes under the allusion that they function as micro-celebrities, one tweet away from their moment of fame. We're all guilty of it.

But where do these Generation Y voters go when they need real information? A percentage of the vote belongs to those addicted to their Facebook news feed, possibly believing the leftists or conservative diarrhea that Uncle Rob is privileged enough to spew to his few (read: less than 20) internet pals. It's tough to separate the meat from the bones of opinion from the blogosphere. Respected political journalists can write for high profile outlets like The New York Times or Rolling Stone, but it's still just that—an opinion.

With the last presidential debate approaching—it's tonight at 9 p.m.—and the election looming, a suggestion would be to put down your laptop, smartphone, or tablet and give the candidates your full attention. What @candylover666 has to say about Obama's birth residency is irrelevant. What do the candidates have to say about your future and the issues you truly care about? Ironically, you can—and should—tweet us @JerkMagazine if you feel any differently.