By Friday afternoon, votes have been cast and many of them have been counted. However, as the wait continued for a third day, many were growing ever more anxious to find out who our next president will be.
“I don’t care if they take him out in handcuffs, get him out of the White House. We don’t need him anymore,” said an impassioned Deborah Hartman of Bristol. “You know, come on mister, just listen to what the people are saying. They want you out."
Hartman said she’s been glued to the news and the president’s press conference on Thursday evening put her over the edge.
“My heart right now is thumpin’ right now while I’m talking to you, yes. Because it’s just like ridiculous. I just can’t take the lies anymore,” she said.
“They are playing games, probably on both sides,” countered Larry Hall of Southington.
Hall said he was not surprised we still didn’t know for certain who our next president will be. He hoped it would be Donald Trump.
“I would like to see them go over these votes and investigate these votes that came in late,” he said.
Sheneese Anderson said she can’t turn her TV off and that’s rubbing off on her 10-year-old son.
“He just keeps asking, 'you still watching this?' They still haven’t had a number yet,” she explained. “I say, 'papa it takes time, it’s a big decision that needs to be made.'”
It’s a decision she hasn’t been able to stop thinking about.
“We all have our different beliefs. Some are Republican some are Democrat, but at the end of the day, we want an answer,” she said. “Just knowing who’s gonna be running our country is a big concern among all of us.”
"Doom Scrolling" Adds to Anxiety
“They’re scrolling through their news feeds looking for information and with each flip of the thumb, their anxiety level rises, their blood pressure rises, and their sense of dread and menace rises,” explained Rich Hanley, an associate journalism professor at Quinnipiac University, of the way social media is fueling the fire.
He recommended people ration their social media time to a couple of minutes per hour.
“It’s not going to give them any answers that they’re seeking, but it will make life quite frankly miserable for them,” said Hanley.
Hanley said Facebook and Twitter have scrambled to eliminate disinformation.
“These social media companies that make their money on conflict and engagement recognize the seriousness of the situation and the potential for violence,” he pointed out.
Self-described Independent Lisa Michaud of Southington said she isn’t as worried about who will be in the White House as she is about how the country will respond.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a positive result from society either way so I’m kind of anxious to see how people are going to act, and I’m just hoping that people can accept whatever’s going to be and just come together,” she said.
As much as Hall wants Trump to remain in the White House, he said he's also ready for the election to end.
“I’d like to see it get done and over,” he said. “It’s been an insane period of time for social media.”
LIke Hall, Mark Ferguson of New Haven said he just wants a decision, and he's willing to accept either outcome.
“I’m just feeling like it needs to be over. A president needs to be picked,” said Ferguson. "At this point, I’m just willing to go with anybody that’s going to be dedicated to the people.”
Leonard Blair, on the other hand, said he’s avoiding the news about who America is putting in the White House.
“Whoever goes there, my life goes on. So, I’m not jumping over the moon,” the Waterbury man explained.
Michaud said she’s tuning in but not letting it take over.
“I try to check in once or twice a day. I just think it creates a lot of anxiety and people just need to let happen what’s gonna happen. I think it can overwhelm people along with COVID," Michaud said.