Once again it is time for elections, which stirs up a whirlwind of emotions. The media brings up controversial topics for the candidates to dispute about and people tend to get heated with political debates. It’s a fun time of year because it unites Americans, stirring up feelings of patriotism. However, it can be difficult for busy college students to keep up with.
My number one rule with following the elections is to pay attention to different mediums of news. Many college students, like myself, have limited time during the day to dedicate to the kind of research it takes to weed out the fabrication and lies associated with politics to get down to the truth. Luckily we have technology to make this process a little less time consuming.
DVRs, YouTube, and other media outlets that can allow you to watch TV at later dates in time will be your best friend during elections. Record debates. When candidates are debating they often say exactly what is on their mind—sometimes by accident—making it an excellent way to figure out what they are really about. Plus, when you record it you can skip over commercials, which saves time in your busy schedule. The next debate is October 3rd at 9 p.m.
Social media is another outlet that can be resourceful during the elections when used appropriately. Both Romney and Obama are on Twitter—follow them! (Barack Obama’s Twitter- https://twitter.com/BarackObama; Mitt Romney’s Twitter- https://twitter.com/MittRom¬ney) It may not be the actual candidate sending all their tweets, but it’s a short and sweet way to find out what they are all about. If you are not a Twitter user you can also follow the presidential campaign of both candidates through their websites. (Barack Obama’s Website- http://www.barackobama.com/; Mitt Romney’s Website- http://www.mittromney.com/) Post questions or comments about the candidates on the social media site of your choice and have a debate or two with friends and family. The most important part about the debate is listening; you never know when someone who sees a situation differently will enlighten you.
Another technique I like to use is watching the news. As boring as it sounds, it’s a great way to stay on top of the latest actions of the candidates. News broadcasts can get information out quickly, so they usually have the latest scoop about the presidential candidates. However, you must make sure that you don’t limit yourself to watching the same broadcasters repeatedly. Although most news industries claim to be neutral, many favor one side over the other. Since time is precious I try and watch a different broadcast company every morning while I am preparing to start my day. I usually choose FOX one day, which tends to have a conservative view of politics, and then a channel such as NBC, that is more liberal the next.
But most importantly, during elections remember to embrace your American right to go out and vote!