During the last election cycle, Twitter has become the main source of information and fear regarding President Trump. The 71-year-old business tycoon’s account has been full of updates on world affairs, FAKE NEWS accusations, and shoutouts to his haters. It is time to ask the real question: is it Trump’s social media identity or his actual character?
His time in the spotlight has led to many bold statements including, but not limited to, “Any negative polls are fake news”, “… if Ivanka weren’t my daughter perhaps I’d be dating her” and the famous “Grab them by the pu**y” interview. These are just sound bites but the full transcript bring up issues about respecting women turned into jokes. This illuminates a personality of someone who is willing to make jokes about real issues in society, yet somehow his words are laughed off because “it’s just what he says” and since it’s just a tweet it doesn’t really mean anything, right?
Social media is a platform to speak out to a big audience spontaneously and without extreme censorship. There is a chance to respond to other people and spread opinions about people, politics, and events. Trump has used Twitter to reinforce policy promises and share opinions on cable news and world affairs.
He has 33.3 million followers which is almost equivalent to the population of California. All of his tweets are seen and shared by tens of millions of people across the country. Many people agree that if he didn’t have access to the Twitter account he’d have higher ratings but maybe that isn’t the real issue at hand.
When you see a tweet mentioning a fake news source that you know isn’t fake or an FBI director being accused of starting a “phony Witch Hunt” remember that millions of people are reading this as the gospel truth. It may seem strange to respond with an article or a phone call to a senator about the policy that was mentioned, but those are ways you can positively impact your community and make your voice heard.
Trump’s tweets might be a reflection of his true character. May it be poorly researched rants or personal vendettas that have not faded during his move into the White House, it is not the media or the skewed perception of him online that is ruining his reputation. It is the things that he is willing to say and believes in. It might be easy to say “he doesn’t really mean it” and tell people to disregard his words, but what if that is untrue.
In order to counteract this stigma that nothing can be done or the idea that it doesn’t matter remember that he is speaking for the people and if it’s not ok you can say something. Next time you read a tweet from the U.S. President that might negatively impact you or a community you care about don’t laugh it off, take action and ask yourself if it is his 140 characters or the character that he has created. You can bring it up in your community, create another post with a fact checking article, or call your state representatives about a policy. It is your place to make a difference on both a local and national scale, respond to the tweets with facts and ideas that can help educate and motivate others to question the validity of statements seen by millions.