Should Bloggers Talk About Politics?

Hello! I'm Charlotte, and I'm the founder of Blog and Beyond. I'm a slightly sarcastic 22-year-old grandma from Glasgow who loves The Sims, Hugh Laurie and programmes about airports. I've been blogging at Colours and Carousels for nearly eight years and work freelance in digital marketing.
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Politics. I feel it’s like all I hear about these days. Six years ago I had little to no interest in the political system in the UK or abroad, but after a flurry of elections, referendums and months spent watching shock results unfold elsewhere in the world, I realised I had to be interested. How could I not care about politics, when it influences so much of my life?

I’m the first to admit that I’m not the most politically informed, I find it all very complicated and my opinions change from day to day. It’s not something I discuss much online, bar the odd ranty tweet, or a series of blog posts I shared about my experiences with the Scottish Independence Referendum. But, as bloggers/creators/influencers/whatever term you prefer, do we have a responsibility to discuss politics on our platforms? It’s something I struggle with often, particularly in the run up to key political events.

I would love to talk about politics more but, like I said before, it’s complicated. Before the Independence Referendum I had very little idea of how the system worked. I wasn’t taught much about politics in school, and the referendum was the first time I voted. I didn’t know how to feel about either side, I was confused by all of the propaganda and contradictory arguments to the point of overwhelm, so I set out to discover more about it and shared my thoughts along the way. 

Despite having voted in multiple elections at a local, national and European level, as well as referendums, I still don’t necessarily feel confident enough to discuss politics publicly. I’m always learning. I know that I have a platform, albeit a small one, and that I should use it - but it terrifies me. What if I say the wrong thing and misinform people? Tone is so hard to convey online that maybe things would be misconstrued and my message would be muddied in the process.

I think when you write from a personal perspective, like I do, it’s hard to avoid bias. I wish I could write impartially and share my thoughts from a reasoned place but that’s not always the easiest thing to do. Experiences I’ve had in my life and the privilege I have may cloud my judgement and as much as I try to educate myself to other viewpoints it might not always show. I learn new things about the world every single day, and that can change my perspective permanently.

With all of that being said, however, I’m painfully aware of how important it is to get involved in politics. I may not discuss my own political views often, but I will talk about the importance of having an opinion, and how crucial it is to get out there and vote. I do think it’s important for bloggers to talk about the political landscape as much as we can, but we have to be responsible in the way we do this.

If you’re going to do it, do it right. I think to effectively use our platforms to discuss politics we have to take the time to educate ourselves on what’s happening from as many perspectives as possible. We need to appreciate the privilege we may have and let people make their own decisions. 

Instead of preaching about our own opinions, we should be encouraging people to get involved and come to their own conclusions wherever possible. It’s important to share, but we have to know where the line is and be cautious of crossing it.