Election Day is here!
Whether midterm elections or a presidential year, the face of American politics has changed dramatically over the past decade.
What’s driving that change? Social media.
In the days of yore, door knocking and sign waving were the bread and butter of political campaigns. TV commercials and highway billboards were the champions of getting the word out. Speeches, media coverage, and newspapers were the sources of information if a voter wanted to learn about a candidate’s platform and stance on the issues.
These days, things are different.
The places people go for information – and the way that they consume it – has changed. People get their news online, share information on social networks, and stay up to date on campaign coverage virtually.
What are the top ways social media has changed politics?
In the past, if you wanted to know about a politician or learn about an important voting issue, you turned to newspapers and tv media and trusted that they provided the whole story. Now, with absolutely everything you need to know at the tips of your fingertips, you are able to learn much more than any news anchor could tell you, and from all sides. Everyone’s a journalist when personal background and minute details are public information to be shared – and corrected! – via viral social posts. There’s no hiding behind limited media.
Missed a debate and want to know how the candidates responded to hot-button issues? Check your Facebook newsfeed. Want to follow a campaign’s progress or join a rally? Keep your eyes on Twitter. Got a question for a politician about their policy or goals? Shout it loud and clear – right on social media, and you’re sure to get an answer!
Speaking of debates, did you hear what Senator So-and-so said last night?! Of course you did – it was all over the web in seconds, filling your newsfeed from every friend and follower. Good or bad, a bold move can go viral in an instant and be seen in every corner of the social world, regardless of a person’s political persuasion. From filibusters to bad phrasing, those clips spread like never before.
Social networks like Facebook and Twitter provide bigger platforms than ever for advocacy groups and politicians alike to reach out to their voting base. They can easily share campaign news, promote their ideals, and quickly move voters to rally around causes or events. Just as important as informing voters, these tools also inform campaign managers of key demographic information and voter data to help them target and tailor their strategies.
From ticker tape to retweets, the political landscape has been forever changed by the rise of social media.
Now don’t forget to get out and vote today!