Local experts say social media on Inaguration Day show divided nation

Jan. 20, 2017: Millions of people around the globe talked about the inauguration today. It trended on social media all around the world.

KNOXVILLE, TN - As millions of Americans watched President Donald Trump take his oath of office, millions tweeted, posted, uploaded and shared their thoughts on inauguration day. 
 
"Through some of those social media outlets you can kind of gain a sense of how divided the American electorate is over this election cycle," said UT Professor Amber Roessner who works in the Journalism and Electronic Media Department. 
 
She says the division exists because many fall into two extremes, those who support Trump and those strongly against him as president.
 
Some media outlets tweeted photos comparing the crowd at Obama's Inauguration Day in 2009 to this year's inauguration.
 
"Of course there are very stark differences between eight years ago and today," Roessner said. 
 
She points out differences in rhetoric, too, during Trump's speech.
 
"He was really focusing on those anti-establishment and populist tones that kind of echo to some degree back to Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan," Roessner said. 
 
 
Trump's call to give power back to the people was highlighted by his own social media account.
 
He tweeted the same quote he shared during his speech, "January 20, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became rulers of this nation again."
 
 
Joshua Williams, a local psychologist says now people need to focus on coming together.
 
"This is a psychological event that we are living through and there really needs to be a lot of work between us, I don't think we can count on Mr. Trump for that," Williams said. 
 
Dr. Williams tells his patients who may be struggling with this election season, to engage with one another on a deeper level than a tweet or post. 
 
"The real struggle for us, is to find the gray to find something of commonality, in the middle, that we can all rally around," Williams added. 

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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