Scrolling down your Facebook timeline post-inauguration day you might find endless Trump slander memes as well as your Facebook friends engaged in full on cyber arguments about politics. On the other hand, you have Trump himself live tweeting from his Twitter account his plans of action while in office.
All of this media and content can be overwhelming and discourage those from staying informed politically after being bogged down with biased and noncredible news sources. Considering this, there are several ways to not only stay informed but to actively participate in politics without falling down the rabbit hole of fake news on the internet.
Additionally, it's also important to stay informed on local politics relevant to your area. News about the national election can cloud this but there are ways to stay informed locally.
Millennials, known for their seemingly overactive presence on social media make up over a quarter of the United States population today and were the most influential in the most recent Presidential election as recorded on the US Census Bureau website. According to Social Media Today, 90 percent of millennials use smartphones while 93 percent access the internet on a daily basis.
According to Pew Research Center, 62 percent of young adults receive political news from social media. Of this demographic, two-thirds use Facebook for news while six out of 10 people use Twitter. With these being the most popular platforms to obtain political news there are several ways to navigate these websites in such a way in order to receive news that is relevant and accurate.
The first is curating the content you consume daily on social media. Since Twitter is a common platform millennials receive their news, there are a couple ways to use this website to your advantage. One feature of the website is a conveniently located “mute” button that prevents content from certain accounts from being seen on your timeline. This can help avoid troll accounts tweeting biased daily news.
To avoid fake news, follow credible sources. On sites like Twitter and Facebook, who you follow and who your friends with is key to the content you view of that platform. With that being said it's vital to follow credible, verified Twitter accounts. One useful account to follow is @CNNPolitics which grosses over one million followers and consistently tweet unbiased political information over the course of a day. More accounts similar to this one are @WSJbreakingnews and @ReutersPolitics.
Another way is to watch content from political commentators like John Oliver, Trevor Noah and Saturday Night Live. These sources present a satirical way of delivering political news which can be good way to relieve tension on gridlock politics and find a laugh in the midst of it all. Although it is satire, the comedy sketches are usually based on current facts relevant to politics.
Start a group chat with your politically active friends. Facebook messenger is an easy and straightforward way to stay in touch and organize events with friends.
Join Facebook pages relevant to your political agenda. Chances are you're probably involved in multiple Facebook group centered around one central topic. Groups like these update you directly and consistently. It also allows you to post content related to politics in one particular place rather than posting a status to all of your friends who may or may not agree with your political stance.
The internet and social media can be a place overflowing with irrelevant or offensive content when it comes to politics, however if you know how to navigate the web and social media sites it can provide you with a wealth of information.