Should You Tweet About Your Vote?
In the coming days, you can expect to see lots of people walking around with "I Voted!" stickers on their chests, and your Facebook and Twitter feeds will likely fill up with pics and notes about people heading to the polls. While social media is a great way to encourage your peers to take part in the democratic process, is it wise to post the name of the candidate you supported online? Here are some reasons why you may want to think twice before you tweet about your ballot.
Get ready for debates
If you've managed to make it this far in life without getting into a heated political debate on Twitter or Facebook, consider yourself lucky. Politics are usually a heated subject, but the anonymity of the internet and the ability to type and post before tempers have cooled makes it easier for disagreements to escalate. You may think it's innocuous to write a small note on your page saying "I voted for ______!" but you'd be surprised how quickly that can devolve into an all-out fight about American politics. If you're not ready to put on the boxing gloves, then keep your vote to yourself.
You may be proud of your political choice and ready to debate anyone who disagrees with you, online or off, but remember that not everyone shares your confidence. Some people may be voting for a candidate whom their friends and families despise, and they are probably doing their best to keep their vote a secret. If you know people like this in your life, it may be best to lay off on the pressure. Instead of boasting about your vote online, save it for one-on-one, earnest conversations.
Don't become a target
Sharing personal information on the web is always a risky move, and though you may not think that showing support for a candidate can get you in trouble, the reality is that it can be dangerous. Hackers and scammers are consistently coming up with new schemes to violate your internet privacy, and any personal data you give out - including your political affiliation - is like free ammo. It's fine to share your vote with your friends and family, but remember that part of protecting online privacy means keeping abreast of who can access your personal information.
For a safe election day, keep these tips in mind after you cast your ballot. Happy voting!