It seems the race to be president of the United States in 2016 is already underway. Ted Cruz announced March 23 that he will run for president.
These days, it may seem odd for some older voters to imagine someone running for president announcing it via Twitter. However, this is the world we live in.
Social media is king and to ignore it entirely would be detrimental. An article from USA Today written by Augustana College student Megan Raposa pointed out how Ted Cruz was not the first politician to use social media and he probably wouldn’t be the last.
She was right in her reporting. In the early ‘90s, former presidential candidate Bill Clinton would go out on late night talk shows and be watched by people around the nation from their televisions. It might not be exactly equivalent to today’s climate, but the premise remains the same.
Social media isn’t just useful for candidates during elections, but also for the voters themselves. An article from U.S. News reported the recent midterm elections in 2014 drew a record online audience.
The Pew Research Center found the amount of Americans who use their phones to access political news has doubled over the years. The amount of Americans who follow political figures on social media has tripled since 2010.
Is this a good thing? Is it acceptable that our political leaders are using social media as a strategy to win elections? Yes, for a number of reasons.
First, it makes our political candidates more human and less like higher figures of authority. For an average college student to be able to contact the U.S. President and him respond would make any student feel overjoyed with importance. It makes it seem like one’s opinion matters and thus college voters will more than likely vote for said person in the future.
Second, social media makes the opinion of the masses matter so much more. Never before in history has the common people had almost unlimited access to knowledge and entry into people’s personal lives. Today, if an important figure does something controversial, it’s reported on online news sites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook and more.
As a college student, social media impacts one’s daily life. As part of the voting population, no doubt young college students will be encouraged to vote. Whether it’s locally or nationally, elections will now more than ever be a part of social media.
More and more college students will vote because politics and social media are becoming more acquainted with each other