Image Credits: Getty Images

Today, social media has a huge impact on people’s views and opinions. It is often the first thing people check in the morning and the last thing they see before going to sleep. This offers political activists a tremendous platform for influencing others. While talking politics on social media is a great tool, there are some things to remember when targeting such a large audience.

1) Be respectful

This is so simple but too important to pass up. Set the precedent of being respectful right off the bat. Speaking in a respectful manner says a lot about your maturity and character.

2) It’s okay not to reply

Sometimes debates are not worth pursuing. If you are attempting to prove your point with facts but the counterargument is insulting or disrespectful, stop replying. It does not mean that they have won, but that you are being the bigger person.

3) Stick to the facts

Good arguments are based from facts. You may get frustrated or annoyed with another person, but burden of proof is simply not respectable. You cannot argue with facts.

4) Cite reliable evidence

It’s one thing to know the facts, but it’s another to cite them. Research your talking points before posting them and cite where you retrieved your evidence. This makes your argument credible and shows that you looked into it beforehand. Make sure the information is from a credible, known source – avoid blogs and opinion articles.

5) It’s healthy to have different opinions

Always keep in mind that it is healthy to have different political opinions – it’s what makes the world go around. Instead of focusing on why opposing political opinions are “bad”, prove why they are wrong. Your end goal should be to convince others to believe what you believe for the good of the nation. Remember that most people have good intentions.

6) What you’re posting is a reflection of your personal brand

What you post on social media is there forever, regardless of whether you delete it or not. You are responsible for creating your unique personal brand, meaning how others see you. You can maintain a professional profile while still adding in your individual personality.

7) Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want your employer to see

Even if your account is on private, nothing is every truly private on the internet. Rather than worrying about who sees what you post, simply be mindful of it. You are ultimately creating an image for yourself with everything that you post. Your social media is a reflection of you and should ultimately be kept clean and consistent.

8) Exit the conversation gracefully

Make your closing statement memorable, mature, and graceful. This will be the last thing that people see, so it’s your final chance to create a positive image for yourself.

Being politically active online is a great way to get others listening and you have the capability of impacting millions of people with what you post. While it is easy to forget that you are speaking with other human beings rather than a screen, do not allow your humanity to be stripped away. Find the balance between being respectful and getting your point across effectively.

Jennifer D.
Jennifer Duplessie is a senior at Texas A&M University pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in political communications incorporating her passion for writing and photography.

Read more articles