Impacts of social media on society
With the advancement of technology, media has become the most significant part of the society. Large-scale mobilization through social networks has increased considerably in the last few years. With the increased access to the Internet, society is now enabled to share information or message quickly by using the social medium that allows protest and movements to be promoted on a large scale. It became possible due to the development of social platforms for the people through which they can communicate effectively and become a part of various social, political and cultural activities. Social media has influenced society through different parameters that includes news, marketing, Internet and other parameters, as well. It brings a prominent impact on society in terms of changing behavior and thinking. Many political or social movements of the history were only possible with the progression of the social media.
Social Media and Political Mobilization
All through the time, Social media has acted as a dynamic medium for Political mobilization, and it is responsible for various different political transformation and movements all around the world. It is evident through the political revolutions in China, U.S, and Egypt that the role of social media is significant when assessed in the political parameters.
With the progression of social media, people are being engaged in political activities that include electoral and election campaigns. Social media allows direct communication between politicians and political parties and their potential voters and bring them closer. In order to get an effective outcome, reaction, debates, feedback and conversation can be generated online, and it becomes easier to plan offline events through social media. Parties and politicians post their respective messages to social sites, in this manner it spreads on the wider level through sharing and reach its target. Through the vast array of researches, it is evident that social media has brought a drastic change in the voting behavior of people. One of the major causes of this voting behavior influence is due to the messages on Facebook. During recent elections, Facebook users encouraged the voters to vote by pointing nearby polling stations and by placing different activities on Facebook such as polling that show the images of the friends who have already voted (Wihbey)
Social media acts as a vital medium that can be good for democracy because it allows message or information to spread faster and more quickly around the population. It enforces the individual to be in a political engagement without being a part of a political system (Boyle). For example in China, social media is being used for exposing Government’s corruption.
A recent blogger campaign showcased the state officials who were wearing luxury watch Rolex that they couldn’t afford with their salary. The people responded heatedly through the social media that resulted in their dismissal from the public sector. It can be stated that Social media can mobilize the whole nation in a manner that can impact the policy. It is also apparent from the revolution in the Middle East in which social media united the youth of Egypt, and helped them to organize and manage the protests that resulted in the unseating of the dictator Hosney Mubarak who ruled the country for 30 years. Through social media, youth and community organizations became active and raised their voice in response against Hosney Mubarak and his government (Adi).
Likewise, in U.S in 2008, the Obama Presidential Campaign made the history because they made an effective use of social media as a campaign strategy. Due to this Obama became the first President, who got elected through the Social Media. Similarly, in Ukraine the protests were reported against the attack on a young girl. The video of that case became viral on the social media which depicted not only the brutality but also the corruption and injustice of the agencies who released her attackers so that people raised their voice against it. However, the uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa illustrate the power of the social media specifically in mobilizing the masses, in order to revolutionary actions across the globe.
Though, the social media is the central form of communication that has distinctive properties in contrast to other traditional mass media approaches. Throughout the recent history, it can be observed that social sites have played a crucial role in terms of revolutionary uprising all over the world. It could be stated that the social media has reshaped the structures and methodologies of political communication by all means because it has increased the electoral participation and political engagement of citizens as it is the main platform for mobilizing support regarding any social cause and revolution.
- Adi, Mohammad Munir. The Usage of Social Media in the Arab Spring: The Potential of Media to Change Political Landscaped throughout the Middle East and Africa. Zurich: LIT VERLAG GmbH & Co,, 2014. Print.
- Boyle, A. J. Seneca Tragicus: RAMUS Essays on Senecan Drama. California: University of Southern California, 2014. Print.
- Wihbey, John. Facebook experiment in social influence and political mobilization. 2012 19-September. Web. 2014 28-June <http://journalistsresource.org/studies/politics/elections/facebook-61-million-person-experiment-social-influence-political-mobilization>.
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