Why It's So Important To Tell Your Friends That You're Voting
Most of us tell our friends everything — from how picturesque our egg yolk looked this morning at brunch, to our deep emotional responses to last night's TV shows. But, when it comes to the election, it's more important than ever to tell your friends that you're voting — because if you're willing to blast your social network feeds with feelings, reactions and musings about the superficialities of day-to-day lives, you should seize the opportunity to share something that's historic, too.
In a paper for the Journal of Politics, Yale University political scientist Alan Gerber, and Harvard behavioral scientist Todd Rogers talked about the concept of social norms. In their paper, they said that people are generally more likely to do things that they think other people are doing. They will adapt their beliefs about normalcy based on what the people surrounding them deem to be normal. So considering this herd mentality, why not use your potential for influence for good?
According to an study of U.S. census data from the Pew Research Center, millennials make up 31 percent of the electorate. In the 2012 election, millennials only made up 19 percent of the electorate — essentially meaning that millennials are now mostly old enough to vote and have the power to greatly affect the outcome of this election. And, if the 2012 election is any standard to go by, we should be nervous — only 46 percent of eligible millennial voters actually voted.
This election has moved beyond party identification. We need everyone's vote to ensure the safety of our future. Because of this, it's extremely important for millennials to encourage each other to vote. We need to get that herd mentality going and use our social feeds to share important information. Even if you're not a fan of talking politics online, even if you rarely post, let today be the day that you tell your friends that you voted. In these last few hours of the election, every single effort is imperative.
So tweet it, status update it, 'gram it, snap it, make a video about it, tell a stranger on the street, wear your "I Voted" sticker with pride and hope that your public display will encourage others to get involved in their futures, too. We have the ability to make millennials the most influential and powerful political demographic. Let's do it!