Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Know Your Vote

There is a vote today in NJ for Senate. Between my husband and I, we've encountered numerous people who don't know this. And every single one of them who didn't know- they aren't on Facebook. Say what you want about social media but I swear, that's how many people get their news, current events, human interest stories. Half the stories I see on the news I've already seen days before circulating on Facebook.

I don't work for Facebook, Zuckerberg isn't giving me a check to shill for him, but apparently, it's important to be on there just to have some news go in one ear. Then what happens to it is anyone's guess but at least something trickles in. I know people that say they don't watch the news because it's all bad. Or they just never seem to have time. Well, isn't it important to know the good with the bad. I understand wanting to live in a bubble, but I'm sorry- we just can't. Especially if we have children, we have to know what the hell is going on in the world. Watch the news, read the news, listen to the news, so you can be good at Jeopardy, if that's the only good reason you can come up with. You don't have to be a passionate activist, you don't have to be loud, you don't even have to tell your opinions or even have any concrete opinions. You can be undecided, independent, or you can pick a side. But you DO have a responsibility to KNOW. Be in the know. Be aware.

Trust me- it matters to me who you vote for, but it matter more that you KNOW the sides and that you go out to vote informed. Someone told my husband today that they didn't know the government was shut down. When he mentioned voting, they didn't know there was a vote and said, "Oh, I just vote _______________" (picked a side). I'd rather that person just stay home then, whether on the same side as I am or not.

There is a news story circulating now about a 14 year old girl who killed herself after being cyber-bullied by other 12-14 year olds. I first saw it on Facebook but now it's also all over the news since the main perpetrators have been arrested. I'm not going to get into the specifics of the case or whether jail of teens is an appropriate punishment for the crime. I'm not looking to debate that. What I am going to get into is, again, being AWARE.


If you're not on social media and don't know it works and you have kids- shame on you. Because make no mistake- they DO know all about, how it works, and eleven year olds are on it. You can't just claim ignorance. Because when you inevitably give your tween an iPhone because all their friends have them, you're giving them a powerful piece of technology. It's like giving your kid a brand new car the day they get their license and then being surprised when they get in a car accident shortly thereafter. It IS a big deal to give your child unlimited access to social media and it should be treated as such. Not just- Oh, all the kids are doing it. How can I say no and let my kid be the only one who doesn't have a page?!

These are not just two disjointed thoughts- voting and social media. It's about being part of functioning society, having a voice, being aware, taking responsibility, and refusing to just go through the motions of life oblivious to what's going on around you.

And if you live in NJ, go out today and VOTE, if you do actually know what's going on. It's costing the state 12 million to have this special vote, so make your voice heard if you care about the issues NJ faces. If you don't know what's going on, I beg you then to skip it, get informed, and come out for the next one. Don't just vote for someone because they're with the party you normally vote with. Find out if that person represents anything you stand for, OR, use this time to figure out if you stand for anything in particular. Then sign up for social media so you can get some news by technology osmosis.


  1. Tara I had to laugh about people not knowing about the election today... I was in the coffee shop this morning on my way to work and overheard a conversation between an older gentleman and a younger girl working the counter. He asked her if she was voting today, she said she didn't know there was an election. When he explained what it was for and named the two candidates she said "oh, Cory Booker, I've heard of him, he was the good Samaritan who once ran into that burning building to save people right? I'll vote for him." Now I'm not saying anything for or against Cory Booker, but citing that as your reason for voting for him when you didn't' even know there was an election in the first place is just scary to me... her vote counts just like everyone else's... you've got to at least make informed choices!

  2. Rachel- my mouth literally dropped today after B got back from an errand in town and told me he had this conversation. The person he spoke to, his age, didn't know the gov't was shut down. There was also, "Yeah, I saw Christie was debating someone last night....". Yes, the other person running for Governor.