Opinion: Social media contributes to political violence – The Appalachian

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The pandemic has made Americans politically aware. It has forced people to spend even more time with technology. However, the ways in which people express themselves over the internet are vastly different from in person. Social media platforms often provide anonymity but even if they don’t, they provide the illusion of distance. Because of this people are outspoken, resistant to criticism and aggressive. 
The image of extremism that social media presents is not accurate. Social media is a flawed imitation of reality. One must only scroll through their own social media page to know that what is on it does not reflect a true and full picture of themselves. In the same way, political conversation through social media is not a true and full representation of real life. It encourages people to post what they believe their followers will like. This discourages posts that disagree with the general narrative of the group. This, in turn, creates feedback loops of agreement where everyone posts things with the goal of receiving approval from their peers online.  
The danger of people having their beliefs constantly reaffirmed and legitimized on social media is that it can begin to appear as though anyone who …

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