“Everyone is doing it.”
Back in high school, we were all told to beware of peer pressure. That peer pressure could lead to us engaging in risky behavior and that we’d have to deal with serious negative consequences. On the other hand…
A lot of psychological research has shown that people generally ARE influenced by social norms, and in the case of voter turnout, we can use that knowledge to our advantage. If everyone else in their circle is doing something, then people generally want to join in. Bonus: Voting isn’t risky! And this is one of those instances when getting loud on social media can matter.
So, starting immediately, start telling people on social media that you are excited about voting. The 2019 elections are tomorrow, Tuesday, November 5. (Except for all of you in Louisiana who vote on Saturday, November 16.) If you’ve voted early, tell them! And of course, on Election Day, be sure to post early in the day that you have voted.
To show you the effect that this type of social pressure can have, here are the results of one study on Facebook from a few years ago:
The study found that when Facebook users were shown the “I voted” button alongside a social message that showed which of their friends had voted, they were much more likely to vote than if they were shown an informational message or no votes at all. The researchers found that this social message led to 340,000 extra real-world votes.
Log into your favorite social media platforms right away and start telling everyone in your network that you’re a voter. Use the hashtag #ElectionDay or #Election2019 or #IVoted to expand the reach of your post. Also, using an image or a gif will generally get you more eyeballs. Here are a few you can use:
Thank you for spreading the word!