Minneapolis Votes a Strong Reminder That Social Media is Not Real Life
If you hopped on social media any time over the last year in search of information on Minneapolis and its relationship with the police, you would be forgiven for thinking that the entire city was ready to abandon the police altogether.
However, Tuesday's vote showed us that simply wasn't the case, with voters overwhelmingly shooting down (no pun intended) the amendment that would "reimagine" the police department.
It's yet another case study in social media not being reflective of real life.
For example, only 20% of United States are daily active Twitter users. In addition, over 60% of Twitter users identify as Democrat, with only 14% identifying as conservative.
We somehow allow ourselves to believe that a perfect picture of the smiling neighbor family across the street is how they live every day of their lives, or that the tweet about defunding the police with 2,000 retweets must mean that everyone agrees.
Did you know 80% of all tweets come from the top 10% of tweeters? According to Pew Research, "among the most prolific top 10% of tweeters, 42% say they have tweeted about politics within the past 30 days, compared with just 13% for all other U.S. adults on the site."
In other words, the loudest voices shout the most stuff, leading to a sense that this is how a majority of people feel, when statistically this is not the case.
"When something is free, you are the product," Richard Serra said back in 1973. He was referring to television, which was still free to watch back then, and the commercials we stared at as the price for watching the show.