Home > Uncategorized > Blog 9: Political Involvement Online

Blog 9: Political Involvement Online

As a whole, I view involvement politically through any means as positive.  In today’s society, our lives are so busy that sitting down to read a newspaper or watch the local nightly news is getting harder and harder to fit into our schedules.  With online information, we are given the ability to access a plethora of news sources at any moment and at our own convenience.  Particularly in the United States, given that we have a lower voter turnout than most other western democracies, this ability to access political information so readily is significant to reaching out to voting eligible audiences throughout the nation.

The ability of people to use social media to obtain information is another crucial way that political involvement is expanding.

Using these means of connecting with others and communicating not only creates more opportunities to absorb information but also encourages those using them to take further action.  Social media outlets give people a chance to make their voices heard and show support for what they believe politically.  While using these platforms for political involvement may not necessarily mean that everyone involved with take hard political action, they provide the first step to do so.  In addition, by “following” news sources or other individuals on Twitter or “liking” political movements on Facebook, at the very least people are becoming more informed and aware of what is going on around them.  The following link provides information and statistics about just how much social media and internet information is affecting us and in many cases providing ways for people to get informed.

http://thefuturebuzz.com/2009/01/12/social-media-web-20-internet-numbers-stats/

With 200,000,000 active Facebook users, 77% of Internet users reading blogs (which are available in 81 different languages), and 1,111,991,000 Tweets just as of January 2009, it is apparent that the Internet is becoming a huge resource for people to access information.  That being said, this provides citizens with the ability to access only the information that supports their opinion and their side of the political world.  While their are positive aspects of this implication of obtaining political information through the Internet, this can have the effect of creating a more partisan society.

http://www.ichartsbusiness.com/channels/online-political-users-get-most-of-the-political-news-and-information-from-sites-that-share-their-point-of-view

This link provides a look at how political Internet users are getting their information from sources that back up what they believe.  Whether or not this trend is going to have a positive overall impact on voter turnout or on democracy as a whole in the future, as Internet usage becomes more and more prominent, remains to be seen.  For now, the growing interest in gaining political information online is a step in the right direction.

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  1. April 14, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Good post. Clearly written. Nice job.

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