Social Media Influence On Political Participation Essay

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In the twenty first century, media is essentially everywhere and takes on various forms such as television networks, radio, newspapers, and most recently social networking sites (twitter, facebook, etc.) In today’s times, it is highly unlikely to see candidates or nearly anything political not being covered by at least one of the primary media outlets. With the diffusion of social network sites, such as Facebook and MySpace, social media have become one of the most popular Internet services in the world. With the rise in popularity of social media, does social media influence political participation? Do these Internet services provide information to the public and allow them to become more informed, find common causes and participate more often in political affairs? Do they in fact do the opposite, and distract the public away from political and public affairs and cause more distrust and disengagement in politics? I hypothesize that social media does influence political participation and in a positive manner. I also hypothesize that online social networks influence real-world behavior as well as the perceptions and opinions of particular candidates in that personal communication on social networks influence the mass communication of individual voters, reinforcing or diminishing the impact of media information. These social networking sites give the mass media and candidates the ability to reach an immense number of people, meaning that even small effects could yield
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