As election day approaches, you might be getting sick of the political bickering in your News Feed. You can try to fight it, but political participation on social media is contagious.
Since 2004, politicians like Howard Dean and Ron Paul have been using social and new media to advance their causes and put themselves in front of younger voters who aren’t just tech-savvy, they’re tech-centric. Facebook and Twitter are powerful tools for spreading information and news, as Barack Obama used to his advantage in his 2008 bid for the presidency.
But Facebook can do more than just familiarize voters with a candidate or let them “Like” a campaign page. For the younger demographic of new voters, social media can be a push to the ballot.
SEE ALSO: Social Is the Secret Weapon in Local Politics
A study out of the University of California found that social messages functioned as highly effective reminders to vote. When pictures of friends appeared in the messages, potential voters were more inspired to take action. Altogether, the study directly influenced the 2010 midterm elections by inspiring more than 300,000 voters to hit the polls. In the end, all that political bickering might only increase the chances of higher voter turnout in the long run.
Check out this infographic from Online College Courses to learn more about the way social media and politics are merging in 2012.