(Miku has nothing to do with these apps, but she’s a patriotic puppy and I needed a photo to grab your attention)
I had every intention of posting a makeup tutorial, but today is not the day. Come Wednesday I’ll get back to my scheduled posts, because I intend to maintain a sense of normalcy around here – but you guys know me by now, and I would feel very strange being so actively involved in my real life and not addressing it online. That being said, I am addressing this to all of my readers, no matter where you stand on the political spectrum (okay, mostly US based, although many international readers have also expressed their interest). Anyway. I’m here to tell you about Countable, an app and site that might prove helpful to those who are feeling overwhelmed or helpless and want to be more involved (p.s. This is NOT sponsored). I’ve tried many political apps over the years, and in my opinion, this is the most streamlined, all-in-one, user friendly and nonpartisan app I’ve found. Simply put: Countable makes it easier for citizens to stay informed and have their voices heard.
Countable presents short, easy to digest summaries of bills going through Congress, focusing on both upcoming and active legislation. In addition to their explanation, you’ll find arguments in favor of and against the bill, and users can weigh in with their own opinions in the respective comment sections. You can then take it a step further by calling, emailing, or sending a video message to your representatives to let them know where you stand. Truth be told, I usually don’t use the app or site to contact my reps (I call from my phone), but I love that there is the option. Don’t know who your representatives are? No problem. When you sign up and enter your information, Countable connects you with the correct representatives in House and Senate — and now that you have that list of representatives, you can click on their profile and see how they’re voting (past tense, of course).
I know I’ve said this before, but we passively rely on those who are supposed to represent us when we should be actively engaged. Voting is just one small act of civic engagement. Chances are, you and your representatives — whether in your party or not — will not have complete and total alignment in opinions. Be informed, get involved, stay involved, and make sure your voice is heard by your representatives.
And while we’re on the topic of staying informed, I’d also like to recommend Politifact (also available in app form) for quick fact checking and submitting fact-check suggestions. I‘ve seen it on both sides: we fall victim to clickbait headlines and quotes taken out of context; we are quick to share without reading the whole story, to trust what we hear and read on others’ feeds without fact checking. While we’re in a day and age where most of our communication is online, we should all be careful of how we gather and spread information. Facts are important, sources are important — do not lose sight of that. While we will not all agree on every issue, I urge you all to do your research, make an informed decision, and treat one another with respect. We owe each other that. Annnnd, back to our scheduled programming.