Home > Uncategorized > Blog 10: Online Politics vs. Real Life Involvement

Blog 10: Online Politics vs. Real Life Involvement

The debate regarding online political participation versus actual real life involvement in political events is a recent development following the 2008 election. In the 2008 presidential election, the use of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and blogs took over the campaigns of both candidates. Now Americans turn to the internet more than ever to gain political insight as well as give their input and opinions.  I believe that when citizens engage in online political commentary they have more initiative to speak their minds and give opinions. This is due to the smokescreen of the internet. These citizens are empowered due to being anonymous online. Being anonymous gives Americans the option to leave comments on social networking sites, blogs, and online political news stories. Another internet option for citizens is gaining information that only pertains to their interests: their DailyMe.  As the Sunstein reading said, the DailyMe diet only reflects what the person likes and does not offer opposing view points. Therefore, liberals are only receiving liberal information and conservatives are only receiving conservative information. Also, when viewing information online, you must be able to filter out false information. Many people receive false information and facts on blogs and are ill-informed. Overall, I believe that online political participation is in NO WAY the equivalent to real life political involvement. In my opinion you are looking at political information online or leaving comments, this is not the same as participating in an actual real life political event. Citizens who participate in rallies, parades, and put signs in their yards are taking active steps in participating in politics. Also, having a face to face discussion regarding politics with family or peers is more realistic due to the fact that you are now openly stating your opinion, rather than positing it via the internet.

The implication that online politics has had on America is that citizens are becoming less active in real life events and are now more comfortable “participating” in politics from their computer screen.  Participating in campaigns and being democratic is now fueled by online communication rather than face to face interaction. This only perpetuates extreme views in my opinion. When people gather online and only look at information that pertains to their views there opinions will only become more extreme. If you want to participate in a campaign go out and vote, go to a fundraiser, or discuss the candidates views with peers rather than online.

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