Dealing With ‘Campaign Hangover’

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Although half of America may be happy its candidate for President won, half of the population is unhappy with the outcome, a U.S. communications expert says.

Jenny Armentrout, assistant professor of communication studies at Saint Mary’s College, in Notre Dame, Ind., said when the election ends some will take to social media and, if their candidate won, gloat.

Such “status updates” might offend those whose candidate lost, but that’s been the case throughout this election season, Armentrout said.

The virtual world often provides more monologues than dialogues and Facebook posts can antagonize friends with opposing political views, Armentrout added.

Perhaps more than ever before, people know their friends’ political persuasions going into an election, but many blocked each other’s posts or even unfriended people who didn’t think like them, Armentrout said.

After the election, “campaign hangover,” the heady experience of winning can annoy those happy and unhappy with the election results, but reaching out — something social media was supposed promote — could make a difference.

“Conflict resolution and empathy are huge parts of communication processes that we sometimes overlook in terms of online formats due to how ambiguous/anonymous we perceive these mediums to be,” Armentrout said.

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