Today in class, 4/10, we discussed how social media can effect or sway a political stance. And to be honest I’m not really known to be very political. I just participated in my first election and I have to say I had no idea who some of candidates were for the senate election this past November. I have done some research on some politics and I am caught up on some of the current events within Congress. Politics never really came up in discussion with my family while growing up. I am definitely interested in politics so I think in would be a matter of research for me to find our which candidate I like better. But as far as social media swaying me to one side or another, I would have to say it doesn’t have an effect on me. If I see a funny meme or video I laugh then continue on. I don’t really think much of it. When I see it, I may already have made my decision on my opinion or I haven’t really done research yet. I also think its really cool to see how much social media has had an impact on the campaigns in the past 8 years. I really only remember it being a big part of campaigns because I didn’t start using social media until then, when I was in middle school. Now I just hate the time of year where there are upcoming elections because all I will see are ads about different candidates. I think the group that presented tonight has a good focus and I think their project will turn out very well.
So far, I have collected research about the effects social media had on the 2012 election. I found it interesting that before during the time of JFK many were dependent on the radio and news channels, but now we have gotten to the digital age where that is where we find most of our information about anything! I am going to blog about politics in this blogpost though! Social media has had a HUGE impact on the presidential election because they have granted candidates the oppurtunity to connect with more people, in particular the younger age group (18-24.) Obama won the 2012 election, and it’s important to look at who was using social media as a campain strategy. Obama used facebook and twitter. He has been a tweeter since mid 2008 and has tweeted a lot (10-20 times a day) in order to reach out to many voters. Romney also used facebook, and tweeted less frequently than Obama. Another thing to look at is how much each candidate spent as a campaign strategy using digital media. Obama sent 47 Million, while Romney spent 4.7 Million.
Public Opinion also shapes how the election will go. Public opinion can be a major impact on those who are undecided. I came across a model proposed by Lazerfeld and Kat, they believed that ”opinions are not formed from mass media, but through individual interactions with opinion leaders.”
There are also proposed stages in regards to public which actually make a lot of sense because of how fast opinions on the internet, social media to be more specific:
1) Public opinion evolves to an ordered state in which one opinion predominates (not to complete consensus)
2)agents are reluctant to change their opinions, and the distribution of the number of individuals opinions changes. (power law)
3)agents take external actions to express their opinions.
I didn’t mention this earlier, but its also important to know that in 2008, social media wasn’t booming as much as it was then as it was in 2012.