by Sam Morrow
When my parents first starting voting there was no social media, the concept had not even been thought of yet. They got their politics solely from television and newspapers. Now social media platforms have changed the way Americans get their politics and campaigning in general.
Social Media and with a new generation of voters who have in a way grown into social media has turned American politics upside down. The reason for this is that candidates can reach out to their supporters more directly then ever before. Sometimes, candidates had little means of reaching out everyday. With social media, both candidates can tweet at all times of the day sending out personal messages and respond almost immediately to any claims or polls.
Politics has also changed because of the fact that because the newest voter class is constantly on social media they can read up on the issues and candidates stand points making them almost more knowledgable then without social media. Features of social media such as Twitter’s polls gives voters an instant idea of what their peers are thinking. Twitter, the platform that affect politics the most, has also live streamed the debates recently.
On top of this, Twitter has a separate stream just for the debate tweets giving voters another chance to interact with each other. With these features, the election has gotten more attention the in the past and it has also given the candidates an online persona that is able to hype up their own personal campaign.
However, even if social media may be exposing the youngest generation of voters this might not be a positive thing. Even thought there is a lot of information on social media, voters will read only what is on their personal feed instead of searching for other information most of the time. With this the voters may only be receiving bias or inaccurate information about politics or more specifically the election.
Even with this is overall social media is exposing more people to politics and it has the ability to reach more people to get them involved. One candidate in particular in very active on social media; that candidate is Donald Trump. Trump consistently tweets, most of the time in all caps, and so does the rest of his family. It is not that Hillary Clinton does not tweet, she just does not do so as much as her opponent. This could be a strategy by Trump to be constant in the feeds of younger voters. Only time will tell if this will pay off.
Politics will never be the same with social media as campaigns will have to think of newer ways to reach the voters attached to their phones. The upcoming election will has already been showcased on social media and this will be a trend from now on.