Home > B2, Learning > Can Twitter, Technology, and Social Media Impact Elections?

Can Twitter, Technology, and Social Media Impact Elections?

Barack Obama’s Yes We Can 2008 Campaign Poster

Since the beginning of the third trimester, our government class has delivered its focus to the inner-workings of our government systems. We have discussed the elections that take place within the government, along with what lurking presence has the biggest effect on the outcome of these elections. Whether we were discussing elections in the Senate, House, or even presidential elections, what I have found to be the most interesting topic that we have debated is that the media has the biggest effect, by FAR, on potential voters. I believe that the media gives new opportunities to connect with American citizens because it allows candidates to deliver their political beliefs to the public, while keeping an eye out for what the people want.

The first reason that technology is important is because the younger citizens of America are starting to pay more attention to politics. America’s founding fathers preached that citizen’s participation in government is one of our greatest responsibilities. As shown from our class’ study on Voter Participation, the younger generation, especially young citizens with college level educations, is starting to pay more attention to politics. The younger generation has also brought along with it a new wave of technology. I know here at Parish it is nearly impossible to walk down the hall and not see someone checking their latest text message or twitter feed; we never go anywhere without our phones. As said in our textbook, “life today is simply busier than in the past and offers more distractions” (150). In order to be successful, it is key for government officials to embrace the new ways of technology.

The most successful example of the benefit of technology was President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, “Yes We Can.” The brilliant campaign directors, hiding behind Obama’s campaign commercials, used the young generation, who “in 2008 flocked to the polls; about 49 percent of those under 25 came out to vote for either John McCain or Barack Obama” (151), to their advantage. In Obama’s campaign ads, the directors featured many celebrities to target the younger crowd. By showing Scarlet Johanson, Nicole Scherzinger, Will I Am, among other famous people repeatedly chanting “Yes We Can”, younger citizens realized that these famous people also want a change. If they can change the world, by campaigning for Obama, maybe they can too.

In my opinion, the most successful government officials are the ones, like Obama, that are up to date with technology. Obama is always tweeting about life in the oval office, which makes citizens more comfortable because they know they are in good hands. Although the media can be negative on the personal lives of candidates, I believe that it is vital for government officials to express their political opinions through twitter, because not all of America has time to sit down and watch interviews on the news. It is also fairly easy to make you’re voice heard through technology. A citizen can email, message, or call the representative they wish to speak too. Through technology, Capitol Hill can turn a new leaf and show America that they really care about making public opinion heard, as well as update citizens on the hectic life inside the government.

  1. govlaurenc
    May 2, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    This is a really good blog! I find it very interesting and your points are very strong. However, I believe you could describe the negatives more in depth and portray how they negatively effect our leaders.

  2. govsaram
    May 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Loved your post, Sam! I really like how you focused on the means by which government and officials should connect to young voters. As you said so perfectly, obviously Obama was successful in his connection to young voters by reaching them through social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. I would advise, though, that you elaborate on the negative effects of social media and show how the positives outweigh the negatives. Great job, though!

  3. catec5
    May 2, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Sam! Your blog is really well written. Like Sam and Sara, the only thing I would expand on is the negative effects of the social media.

  4. May 10, 2012 at 12:20 pm


    I really enjoyed your last paragraph – I’d love to see you dig more deeply into explaining the WHY behind some of the opinions you’ve expressed here…

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