Home > B2, Learning > The Power of Social Media and Youth

The Power of Social Media and Youth

The forms of communication continues to evolve into the 21st century. Long ago, getting one’s message across came in the form of speeches. Speeches turned into  newspapers, which eventually turned into radio, and then television. The newest form of communication is the internet. Presidential candidates who do not see social media as an effective form of communication will not do well in their Presidential campaigns. Whether people like it or not, social media plays an important role in the election process today.

Social media can assist the Presidential candidates in getting their message across to potential voters. Joining social media allows voters to feel closer to the candidate, whether by “following” or “friending” the preferred candidate. Social media is not just a one way street. People with similar stances on issues can create groups or make videos, promoting their view to the world. Candidates can easily see a group’s opinion on any given issue, allowing the group to be heard.

Perhaps the biggest impact social media has on the Presidential election is voter turnout. Nearly half of young adults (described as being between the ages of 18-24 years old) voted in the 2008 elections. This is a large increase from the 2000 elections, where only 32% of young adults voted (Shea, pg. 152). What could have possibly created such a large increase between 2000 and 2008? The presence of social media within those 8 years have increased a hundred fold. Presidential campaigns speak to young voters through social media.

While correlation between social media, the newest form of communication, and young voters is positive, it doesn’t necessarily mean causation. However, the positive correlation between the two cannot continue to go unnoticed, especially by those campaigning. The role of social media shines through with the 2008 campaign, and hopefully potential Presidential candidates have taken note.

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  1. govjuliannej
    May 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    This is so good! Just to make it a little longer, you could maybe insert an idea about how some current presidential candidates are making an effort to use social media more. This will make it more up-to-date rather than just talking about the 2008 election. Other than that, this is very well-written. Good job!

    • kiannash
      May 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Thank you so much Julianne for your insights. 🙂

  2. sterlingjho
    May 3, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Sorry for the late comment! I, too suffer from a short post, though, so I see what Julianne is saying. However, using the 2008 election seems to be a good starting point, so you shouldn’t just scrap that. You should build off that and do as Julianne says, talk about the current elections. All in all, though, post length is the only problem I see.

  3. May 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Good, Kianna!

    I’m curious to know how you would dig deeper into the nuances you’ve raised in your last paragraph: “While correlation between social media, the newest form of communication, and young voters is positive, it doesn’t necessarily mean causation.” I’d love for you to develop this sense of ‘positive correlation’ more fully!

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