Politics 100 term paper 1
Politics 100 term paper
Simon Fraser University
“Citizens have become much more politically engaged because of social media”
Word count: 1493
Pol 100 D116
November 29, 2018
Politics has always been a major aspect of any society, as the decisions involved in politics tend to affect every member of society. Historically, the general population of any society has not been involved in the political decision-making process. This was mainly due to autocratic regimes, fearing citizen involvement and essentially abolishing it. This changed after the increasing trend of democratization swept the globe. In modern democratic societies, citizens are expected to understand politics and contribute to their society. Unfortunately, during the 20th century, a large portion of citizens remained politically ignorant. This was mainly due to the limited spread of any kind of information. The internet however drastically changed things, as it made it easier for people to connect, interact and communicate. Recently, social media has emerged, which has made the spread of information easier than ever. Ideas can now literally be spread instantaneously from one part of the globe to the other. For the first time ever, the average citizen now has access to a complete array of political platforms and ideologies. (Bennett, 2012) Social media has caused citizens to become more politically active, as it has enabled politicians to communicate directly to their constituents, contributed to the spread of political news stories, and has empowered citizens of autocratic countries to revolt.
Social media has allowed constituents to have direct non-biased access to politician’s thoughts and beliefs. For decades politicians have relied on TV and newspaper advertisements, to directly spread their agenda to their constituents. But, due to their expensive nature, these advertisements tend to be very short. (Bennett, 2012) Researchers have noted that the general population feels that these advertisements do not give them enough relevant information required to make a good political decision. (Enli, 2017) As a result, it is entirely possible that most people weren’t very engaged in the political community. Social Media, however, has changed this. An average citizen can now learn all about a candidate and their platform by looking at their Facebook page or twitter feed. These social media websites usually contain the candidate's position on a variety of political issues. Learning more about a candidate usually leads to a citizen being more likely to support said candidate, and engage in their campaign. (Enli, 2017) Traditionally, the average citizen has had to learn about their candidates through mainstream media outlets. Unfortunately, these outlets can sometimes be biased against a particular politician. This results in readers getting inaccurate information, with the candidate being unable to comment or clarify their position. However, the rec...