Letter to the editor: Social media and political discussion

RYAN MANNY | Pullman

The first presidential debate was last week, and its aftereffects are everywhere.

It resulted in classroom discussions, ammunition for talk-show hosts and spades of social media coverage.

As everyone knows, social media has given this generation a totally new way to digest politics.

More information is available from every source imaginable, and it’s an incredible improvement in political socialization – at least as far as pure information goes.

But behind a computer or cell phone screen, it’s almost pitifully easy to spout out a quick 10-word comment or personal jab and just walk away from the discussion, foundation unshaken.

I believe this online tendency is having an effect on real arguments.

While walking away from the debate watch party Tuesday night, I saw two students get into a heated shouting match about whether Hillary or Trump was the better candidate.

It quickly devolved into little more than personal attacks from both sides.

What did that argument really accomplish, other than feed the flames of anger and dishearten bystanders?

The Student Entertainment Board is hosting a “Political Fight Night” on Thursday, which will certainly get students arguing.

In this election cycle, it seems that’s it’s become increasingly easy to hate our neighbors over little more than their beliefs.

With a word as inflammatory as “fight” in the title, I hope my fellow students can step past the hate, keep their minds open and have a real, good old-fashioned argument.