The Politics of Social Media

Social media has proven to be an efficient tactic to warrant and engage with the public opinion. It has opened many doors for businesses and has also drastically shifted political campaigns and relations. With the ability to channel the power of many in lobbying efforts, receive real time feedback, and expand fundraising campaigns, there are several upsides to the use of social media in politics. Additionally, social media has provided a great platform to stay up to date on recent political moves and engage with others with responses. 

However, social media has also enabled political figures to post offensive and controversial comments publicly. It was also blamed for the advertising attacks during the last election. Not only can social have adverse effects on the relationship between political figures and the public, but it can also harm the relationships between friends and family. As mentioned early, social media creates an additional forum to engage in political debate. While many enjoy this additional space to share their views, others feel frustrated as they lack an escape from continual tensions. For instance, more than one-third of social media users are worn out by the amount of political content they encounter. Also, when discussing politics on social media with people they disagree with, 59% of social media users find it to be stressful and frustrating.    As savvy social media users, we have all observed situations where political talk can monopolize our platforms. There are many positive effects that social media can have for both political figures and the public, but it important to also acknowledge its drawbacks as well.    Questions to think about: How do you feel social media has shaped politics? Has it changes politics for the better or worse? Should there be a limit to how much politicians can use social media? What ideas do you have to ensure that political debates on social media don’t go too far?