Voting Is Contagious
I believe every vote matters. If you don’t believe that, then let me tell you why you’re wrong:
Because voting is, in fact, contagious.
The behavior of one individual can widely impact the behavior of their social circle, and this particularly applies to political behavior.
Being an evidence-based kind of a gal, I will show you the science behind the voting contagion phenomenon:
In one 2010 study, researchers delivered political messages to 61 million Facebook users during the 2010 US congressional elections. They found that while the messages themselves were associated with significantly influencing Facebook users’ political behavior (like self-expression, information seeking, and real-world voting), even bigger results were seen among the friends of the Facebook users who shared or commented on these political messages.
Basically, the political messages not only influenced the FB users who received them but, when shared or commented upon, the messages had an even greater influence on the FB users’ friends, and even friends of friends.
This experiment was replicated during the 2012 Presidential election, and the findings were confirmed.
Mathematician researchers developed a model of this phenomenon based on analysis of decades of election data, and published their findings in a scientific article titled “Voting Contagion”. They concluded: “social contagion effects are becoming more instrumental in shaping large-scale collective political behavior, with implications on democratic electoral processes and policies.”
Here’s the take-away from all of this:
Your actions can impact your friends’ and relatives’ actions, if you take action in the first place.
So talk about it on social media. Share the memes. Let your friends and family know your thoughts on the issues. Spread your enthusiasm. Give people the political bug. Go democracy!
I voted early at my town hall yesterday, and many have extended hours for this, check it out.