NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – On the last day of early voting, voters are ready for the election to come to an end after an election cycle filled with negative ads, negative social media, and constant conflict with relatives about the election.
The fatigue voters feel is nearing its height with less than a week before Election Day.
“People have to understand that the reason they see what they see on social media is because there is an algorithm that learns their habits,” Belmont journalism professor Dr. Syb Brown said. “All the things you click on drive Facebook to tailor itself to you.”
Dr. Brown also said social media has exploded since the last presidential election, so there are a lot more people posting and commenting about things. Some of the posts include misinformation.
“These posts and comments are permanent and public,” she said. “People have to imagine that one day they will wear every comment, post, or picture on their body.”
Dr. Brown suggested people unfollow people or organizations that are adding to their stress.
She also said to be mindful before posting to social media.
“Just take a minute to think about it before reacting,” she said. “People do not see social media like it is reality, but it is because you are tied to what you post forever.”
She continued, “Freedom of speech is free; however, there are consequences for some of the things we say. You have a right to freedom of press and religion etc… However, we don’t have a right to be rude.”
It is estimated that if Facebook was a country, based on its users, it would be the largest country in the world.
Voters who took to the polls early in Hermitage said the election and attacks on both sides left them feeling like there were not any good choices.
“The money spent to degrade each of the candidates is entirely a waste of money,” Rodney Grau said. “They should have taken that money and put it more toward their campaigns for them to make themselves better rather than make the other person look worse.”
Lisa Hillis has stayed clear of social media, in large part because she hears about the conflicts that people get into online.
“I am tired of it all,” she said. “It is very exhausting. You watch everything and it is like, ‘Oh my gosh.’”
She continued, “I have heard so many different people at my job, on the streets, and even here saying if there was an independent, they would vote independent.”
Pastor Eric Hines is the director of the Spring 2 Life campus of Addiction Campuses. It is the organization’s faith-based addiction recovery location.
He, too, has seen how much negativity is spreading online and social media.
“I think in this election people need to come together,” he said. “We need to mend hearts and we need to break down some of these barriers. We have to be Christ-like and love people right where they are.”
He continued, “I am not surprised at all that people are glad that it is over. But, one of the biggest things is to love each other and not allow this election to keep walls up.”