I opened my Instagram feed today and was bombarded by the #vote. You know, all those images happily watermarked of important amendments or their favorite candidate highlighted. Turns out that social share could land you in jail in some states. Good to know, right?
Of course I’m not completely innocent; it’s hard to resist the urge to share or “Like” a photo or sentiment that aligns with my personal ideology. And my 615 Facebook “friends” and the nearly 1,400 accounts I follow on Twitter aren’t far behind with oversharing. For every gaffe or misstatement, an internet meme was not far behind (Binders Full of Women, anyone?) Did it matter? By the time you read this post the election will be (hopefully) locked up, but sadly, that will not put an end to the incessant posts. In fact, it’s probably just the beginning of the next cycle known as Election 2016.
What? You’re not ready? Need a break from the persistent campaign messages? This election cycle has engaged voters online in record numbers and will merely set the stage for what we’ll see next time around. The top ranks of any campaign staff now include a digital director and they’ll be taking a serious look to see how those posts add up, if at all, to getting their votes out in force for their candidate. What will likely result is an even earlier election cycle next time around as candidates attempt to engage potential voters online early and often. So much for a break.
So is it safe to unblock your friends yet? Probably not.
--Lauren Shankman - @lshankman