With Election Day now two days behind us, Americans are waiting with anticipation to know the results of voting and finally see who will be president on Jan. 20, 2021. In a world where instant communication is commonplace, Americans are in an atypical state of flux as they await results.
Drew Margolin, professor of communication at Cornell University, studies the way people communicate online and the role of accountability, credibility and legitimacy within social networks. He says Americans are glued to any potential election updates the way a sports fan would be to a score ticker, but it’s important not to speculate on results until all votes have been counted.
“Wait until all of the votes have been counted in all of the states before drawing any conclusion. Note that there is no action that any citizen can take to affect the outcome now. So, an individual is not doing anything with any speculation they make before then. Such speculations can make you feel better, temporarily, but then you'll become agitated again when the next bit of data trickles out.
“It's like watching the score ticker on a muted TV at the airport, checking on how your favorite team is doing while some other program is running. There's no action to watch. So, there's nothing but ups and downs until the game ends.”