By Cassandra Sedler
A study conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2014 found that Republicans and Democrats are divided more so now than ever before in history (pewresearch.org).
It is easy to believe that such polarization is even more prevalent in today’s political arena when considering the 2016 presidential election alone.
Perhaps the divide between Democrats and Republicans surfaced in the 21st century due to issues within our economy, or changes in the workforce.
However, the role of social media in politics and the effects it has on young voters in particular cannot be ignored.
Social media in theory should allow one to experience the world from new insights and perspectives.
The bleak reality of social media is that most users only interact with like minded individuals.
When online, we create our own bubbles and surround ourselves with only things that appeal to us.
By filtering all aspects of news we view on social media, we are never exposed to opposing viewpoints and the consequences of this can be seen in too often heated political debates between liberals and conservatives.
Social media aside, polarization and fragmentation between the two parties is equally encouraged by the mainstream media.
Democrats are more likely to watch mainstream media outlets like CNN, ABC or NBC. Meanwhile, Republicans may use outside outlets like talk radio, or conservative news websites.
As a result, both sides of the spectrum are receiving biased news.
The only solution to the rising polarization in America is to recognize the consequences of such a blinded viewpoint of the country and the world.
By using outlets such as social media to their full extent, and being open to opposing outlooks we may bridge the political gap between Democrats and Republicans.
Optimistically speaking, with this initiative, we can achieve goals that both parties want: peace and prosperity.
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