Blog #9: Political Involvement
With the technological world continuing to expand it is no wonder that online political activism is as well. Take a look at the study available online by the Pew Internet and American-Life Project.
Nearly all traditional forms of civic activity are stratified by socio-economic status. That is, as income and educational levels increase, so do community involvement, political activism, and other types of civic engagement. This stratification holds not only for offline political acts but also for political participation online.
The numbers stay the same in terms of demographics influencing involvement. What the article does not highlight and what I want to know is which type of involvement is more effective. Online or “Real Life”? I believe each has their benefits that could be seen as more effective. For example, actually physically seeing support a large crowd at a rally could boost moral support compared to “liking” a particular candidate on Facebook. All the while, it is more convenient for citizens not as involved to participate online. For example they could donate to their respected party from the following websites or catch up on issues with the click of a button as opposed to having to attend an event.
So how do these reasons affect my opinion on whether or not online political involvement is the same as “real life” political involvement? I do not think that they are the same because of the two different environments. However, I also do not think that one is particularly better than the other. They both have their unique strengths.