It’s election time in the UK, and I’m really glad I’m not there.
If the hysteria and hypocrisy on social media is anything to go by (and to be fair, it’s probably not), it must be an absolute crapfest over there at the moment.
Taking a step back 6000 miles… away from the situation, it’s always interesting to me what the combination of acute politics, access to the internet and a glass or two of wine can bring out in people. In an age when we are trying desperately hard to educate our kids as to the dangers of poor social media etiquette, people – parents! – really don’t seem to think before they share and post stuff online.
Take this hilarious meme, for example. Yes, yes, I see what they’re trying to say here, and of course they’re entitled to their political opinions, but in stating one particular party in the slightly altered heading (did you even notice?), for me, they’re implying that any other party’s propaganda is fine.
That definition of propaganda for you:
information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.
So if one party is lying, that’s [emoji poo], but for anyone else, it’s fine?
It’s another good example of the hypocrisy that is conveniently overlooked when shouting about these things. Because if you think that Labour or the Lib Dems (other parties are available) are going to deliver on their election promises, you really haven’t been concentrating on any election ever.
And yet the people posting this sort of crap are (mostly) well-educated, professional individuals who wouldn’t dream of saying something so clearly illogical in any other area of their life.
There’s some major sociological study just waiting for a suitable PhD candidate right here. (It’s probably already been done, to be honest.)
I’ve said it about sport:
…it’s fine to be irrational, as long as you know you’re being irrational. Sport brings out the irrational side in a lot of people…
The trouble is, much like sport, politics encourages this weird kind of behaviour as well. And, much like sport, it’s exacerbated by social media.
Take a look at your friends’ posts online now. And if you don’t see this phenomenon, you’ve either chosen good friends (well done) or you’re deep inside the echo chamber with them (oh dear).