Over the past year, social media has been buzzing with political banter. You can hardly open Twitter without seeing a heated argument between two of your friends or someone retweeting one of Donald Trumps comical tweets. However, unlike what the older generations may believe, these tweets and posts are not mindless nonsense. In fact, social media has played a large role in educating millennials and bringing them into political conversations.
Social media has been found to be the best way to reach the new generation of voters. With a single tweet, candidates are able to send information to millions of voters in a matter of minutes, unlike the press conferences and lengthy statements of the past. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, nearly two-thirds of 18-29 year olds, said social media is the most helpful means of learning new things about politics (Lang). With the majority of millennials finding their political information via social media, both of the candidates have attempted to use their social media accounts to gain support from the younger generation.
In the past, candidates have always presented themselves in the most professional way possible. However, it is difficult to be particularly presidential in 140 characters or less. Social media has made this election especially unique because of the colloquialism and often times, immaturity of the social media posts of the candidates. There has been a lot of conversation specifically about Trump’s Twitter account, with his outrageous tweets. Because of his social media presence, Trump has created quite a Twitter following, his 13 million followers beating out Clinton’s 10 million, even though both Clinton and Sanders have been using Twitter as a platform since announcing their candidacy.
Many millennials have also been influenced by the celebrities who have voiced their support for candidates. Celebrities have been using their social media platform as a way to reach voters and voice their opinions. By showing their support, it influences their fans to vote similarly. Many celebrities are using their platform just to tell millennials the importance of voting, no matter who its for. This is very beneficial, specifically for Clinton, because of her support from many popular celebrities like the Kardashian family and Beyoncé.
However, there is still a controversy over whether or not the information on social media is reliable or not. Often times, the information found on social media is either incorrect or highly biased, unlike the information found from more reliable news sources. Either way, social media has still helped to bring the younger generation into the political conversation. There is a likely to be the largest number of new voters in history because of the uniqueness of this election, along with the involvement of social media.
There is no denying that social media will affect the outcome of this election and will continue to play a large role in politics. Social media is a fast and free way for politicians to post statements and voice opinions. With the continuously growing popularity of social media, it will continue to impact the younger generation of voters.