In the age of social networking, there’s never been a more truer phrase than “It doesn’t count unless it’s on Facebook.”
This applies for serious life events, like relationships, engagements or weddings, or social events, like going to the bar with your friends, or even mundane events like going to the mall or to the gym.
The old adage goes, “if a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Well you can apply that exact phrase for Facebook. What is the point anymore of going anywhere without letting people know? If you take a weekend trip to Atlantic City, and don’t mention it once on Facebook, then what was the point? Nobody knew you were there except you and the weird-looking hotel clerk who gave you your room key.
Well, apparently that applies for voting, too.
I have just over 400 Facebook friends, and if I wanted to, I can make a chart that separates my friends under two categories: people who voted and people who didn’t vote. Because I know all that information. I know it because everybody made some type of Facebook status while they were either entering their polling station, at their polling station or leaving their polling station. Not everyone necessarily said who they were voting for, but they still made some type of election status.
Why is that? Well, for one, Election Day is an event that we all share. It applies to all of us. So you have the commonality right there.
But the other reason is because, as a 25-year-old, and as a person who only has Facebook friends who are around that same age, this is really the first Election Day where we fully understand the significance of voting.
I remember exactly where I was four years ago on Election Day 2008 when Barack Obama was elected as president. I was a senior at SUNY Binghamton, and I was out with my friend at a shithole bar participating in a beer pong tournament. The tournament was held every Tuesday night, and I never missed it. The name of the bar was The Rat, and it was so dumpy that it was actually located in the basement of another bar.
Sometime during the night, after just buying my third $3 pitcher (man, I miss college), the bar DJ stopped the music and notified us, “Guys, it looks like Barack Obama is going to be our next president.” And that was where I was the moment I learned of our nation’s first ever black president. Playing beer pong at The Rat in Binghamton, New York.
So, needless to say, I didn’t really care about that election. I didn’t even vote, although I do remember supporting Obama at the time.
Flash forward four years later. I am four years older. Four years wiser. Four years more handsomer. I am actually in the working class and [sort of] making my own way. At this juncture, politics matter to me. Taxes and employment rates and healthcare all directly affect me. So I kind of have to pay attention to it.
And that obviously goes for all my friends. Maybe not the handsomer part, but nonetheless, if you’re in your mid-twenties, you owe it to yourself to know what’s going on in the world. Thus, when Election Day comes around, we care.
So that is why everybody was so interested on this day. And as I type this, the votes are still pouring in as I watch NBC’s coverage of who won what state. Right now it’s looking like Florida could be the difference maker, as merely 650 votes separate the two candidates with about 85% of the votes in. That’s pretty insane, and it could equate to another Bush/Gore scenario from 2000.
And for some reason, they have a map of the United States outlined on a giant block of ice, and they are coloring in each state a certain color based on which candidate wins it. That is… creative. I guess.
But at least, for one day, we can all agree on something. It doesn’t matter if you lean to the left, or to the right, where you’re from, how much money you make, or what the color your skin is.
All that matters is that you confirmed the fact that you voted on Facebook.