January 16, 2019

Social Media and Democracy

Social Media has changed the world, we all know this. It has changed the way we interact with friends, family, acquaintances, and the brands we love (even the brands we don’t). We have instant connectivity to everyone, and it has dramatically affected the way we view political issues and politicians.

The journal “Nature” did a study that showed that social media has dramatic effects on voter turnout. They stated that approximately 60K social media users were influenced to vote directly from posts from friends, while 280K were influenced indirectly. This shows that by even sharing your friend’s post on Facebook you could assist in swaying an election. This study shows just how influential it can be to voice your opinion on social media. Another movement that became very well known because of social media is the #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo movement. These hashtags were initially started on social media, and it has now reached millions of people across the globe. Never before in history has a media outlet driven this type of targeted influence to the masses.

Social Media has also become the most popular source of news. Pew Research Center now concludes that 65% of people receive news and updates purely from social media. Automatic updates and notifications allow the news to circulate between millions in a matter of minutes. The average person is becoming much more informed on current issues than in the past because of these technologies and there is no end in sight. With the 2020 election right around the corner stay tuned for new social tactics and strategies being deployed to win the vote. It will be an interesting couple of years ahead.

Source: http://sclhs.in/fCm24V

-Aaron Burnham