Getting Political

Ross Johnson's picture
Instructor
11/7/2018
New Media

Consider sharing it with your friends.

Yesterday we saw record turn-out for the mid-term elections. Living in an increasingly connected digital world it's hard to ignore the influence that social media has on not only voting but political views in general.

What was your experience on social leading up to the vote? What type of messages were you being exposed to and by whom? Were you influenced by what you saw? Did you do research to confirm it's truth?

Comments & Feedback

Student

As a Chinese I could not vote for the mid-term election, but there's somthing I found out, it has a really good information spread on different platform and multi-demention. in youtube comercial, you could see all the things about mitd- term eletion, you can see it on compus and also on social media. As a man who is not femiliar with the political thing in America, I am quite influnced by the comercial in the youtube, and I think there is some way to find out if the thing in the comercial in true.

Student

For the mid-term election I couldn't participate, because I am an international student that has no chance to vote. However, it was impressed to me. When I was at my home someone came and asked will you be voting and I thought it was kind of surprise to me. If I had chance I would surely do voting, but however I was never thought that someone would ask me about voting. It was a bit embarrassing, but it seemed like it encouraged people to vote for each other. It was because I watched Youtube encourage voting, encouraging people to exercise their rights through voting and to give a little reflection to the country by seeing that people are encouraged to vote even if they walk the road. Of course I can not vote in the US, but in my country where that I would have a chance to vote, I have to vote. That's because it helps to encourage the votes people have shown me here. 

Student

For the mid-term elections, i am not able to participate the voting directly, because i am an internatinal student. I can watch videos onlines or in the school TV, I won't influenced by this and i didn't do some research to confirm it is  truth. Voting is important in any US election.  Americans overseas should insure that they are heard and the most direct way is through their right to vote. There are members of congress interested in overseas Americans’ issues. The midterm elections are always important and, although we aren’t voting for President,

Student

Throughout the weeks leading up to the election I was exposed to many different campaign advertisements on social media - mostly Facebook. Snapchat also had quite a bit of information in their "Discover" section. I personally did not vote, so no, this information did not influence my decision. Because I did not plan on voting, I did not research if any of the claims I saw were true or not. 

Student

I am not from Michigan so I couldn't vote here but I was definitely more aware and involved in the Michigan elections because I go to MSU. I went to a John James rally in Jackson, MI, and I loved it. It was so much fun and I loved what he had to say so I was influenced by that. It was very upsetting that he lost. I saw a huge increase on social media to promote voting and getting our generation out to vote. I saw flyers providing rides to voting polls, stickers, commercials, instagram stories and digital media telling younger voters to go out. I've never seen a push to vote on social media like this before. Unfortunately, I felt they were pushing to vote only one way, though, which was hard to see. I also did a lot of research on the Michigan cadidates to educate myself.

Student

In fact, I have always been an outsider in American politics, and it is not an exception this time. I ever heard one of my professors talked about where to vote but I did not pay much attention since I am not able to vote. What was weird was, I did not see any advertisement or information about the election, or which was because that I did not pay attention to this type of information. Or it's the result of my not using mainstream American social media platforms and websites. 

Student

I have never been a fan of politics. I just find it to be too much talking and nothing ever gets done. One thing that was very noticeable, was the amount of content that was on social media. I always try to avoid Facebook for simple reasons, but the platforms that i do use frequently –Snapchat and Instagram– had a lot of content of ads. When it comes to voting and politics, i just do my research myself. 

The ads typically seen are bashing an opponent in black & white, and explaining why x or y person is better. It is nothing new. 

I do watch the news quite a bit and i did see a lot of commericals. Once it goes to commericals, I just mute the television.    

Student

As an international student, I am not able to participate the voting directly. But I am fully aware of these kinds of important dates of the US government. Especially this year, president Trump has become a controversial topic on the internet for a long time. Lots of my friends and celebrities that I follow became much more active on political topics. Everyone was encouraging others to go vote. I am not a political guy at all, but I found that interesting that people are treating politics a lot serious than before. 

Student

For the mid-term election, I noticed a large increase in messages from celebrities and other influencers encouraging people to vote. From Taylor Swift to all of the political candidates, it seemed like everyone was posting about voting on social media. I noticed messages on Instagram and Snapchat. I also read about certain sites like VOX that only let people view their site if they voted. Both political parties had ads and messages out on social media and on the TV. The ads did not influence me because I had already done research on candidates and made my decisions. I noticed the push to get voters out more than a push for a specific candidate overall.

Student

My exxperience with social media leading up to the vote was very crazy. Many of the people I follow or freinds shared many posts about politics and the candidates etc. There were also sponsored and paid ads that popped up such as on Twitter. I also received a lot of information and saw posts on social media due to the fact that friends of mine are involved in politics and actually work with and close to it, in a Super PAC. messages were mainly just opinions and thoughts, accompanied with ads of the candidates and why we should choose them over others. I also saw a lot of predicitions and even just hopes and articles on who is projected to win, etc. I wasn't much influenced by what I saw to the extend where I did my own research but I did share certain links or posts with friends that are more knowledgable in the subject and can inform me with what I need to do. It opened my eyes to a lot since I am not very political and don't like to talk about it a lot. Overall, it helped me learn about and who I should vote for. Social media being a great outlet for candidates for this reason. 

Student

I saw some ads about the vote on social media. For instance, before I wastch a video online. There would be a few seconds ad about voting. The ad advertise the elector. In fact, I don't remenber what do they write on the ad. So I didn't influenced by this. And I didn't make research for this information. I think that this is true. Becuase there almost two weeks I saw this advertising before the video. 

Student

I saw many ads on facebook, but I didn't see any ads on Instagram or Twitter (there may have been ads, but I didn't see any or remember seeing any). The ads on facebook were geared towards geographical areas, so I saw people who were running for Michigan - I didn't see any from my home state of New Hampshire on my feed unless someone shared or liked it. Ads don't really sway my opinion of someone because I like to do my own research on anything involving politics because ads tend to stretch the truth in favor of the candidate the ad is for. I don't feel political ads are a good source for acurate information - the best way I think to find out the most accurate information is do to research from multiple sources as possible that have the most un-biased view possible.

Student

I didn't see very many political ads on social media this year. But I did see a lot of ads bashing Elissa Slotkin and Gretchen Whitmer on television and Hulu. One that I saw frequently, was the ad claiming Elissa Slotkin supported a law cutting the budget for medicare. The ad was funded by the National Republican Congressional Committee, so it only makes sense that they would create an ad that made a Democratic candidate look bad. The ad didn't influence me to become against Elissa Slotkin, especially since I am not registered to vote in her district. I never did research to confirm whether the ad was truthful or not. 

Student

I actually think the digital world is scary right now, there's a lot of stuff going on around the digital world, not just voting. I think digital world is powerful,  many of the things around you revolve around Numbers, and even many ads appear in your  own software based on your own interests. Such as facebook, instagram and so on. To be honest i don't have experience to the vote, maybe come from different country, but in the future i will try to vote something.

Student

A couple of weeks ago, I was always sawing a Youtube advertising about women who work in the white house before. Not sure about the name, probably something Slogen? another party said, "she even does not know the truth or not telling the truth." or "She put party more important than a country" THose are shows again and again so that I can even remember their slogan.  Also see some other candidates ads also, even though I don't have the right to vote, it gets me in somehow. Also, there was a news asaid The Present Trump also get help with the facebook advertisings. It is no matter how we feel, but the social media does some influence the vote in somehow and get prove by the data. 

Student

Leading up to the election, my Facebook timeline was flooded with post. In fact, what I found to be the most surprising is that we live in a digital world, yet many of my Facebook friends who were posting "get out and vote" had no idea what canidates were actually running and the platforms they stood on. Still I would say many of the messages that I was exposed to outside of my general Facebook feed were James Madison students. Considering that the college is heavily political, I wasnt influenced by what I saw but I was heavily intrigued on knowing where my classmates stood on issues. Social media spread this type of awareness among my generation that was similar to the "my friend is doing it, so I should too" that led to the record turn-out at the polls.

Student

Being not from michigan I was super confused about the election. But all i saw on facebook was a world of negativity and nothing positive for the last few months. Many were politically active adults who just had no shame in what they said. I did do some research to make sure i understood both sides. 

Student

Social media always tends to get out of hand before elections in my opinion. There is a lot of hate thrown around and biased opinions that are offensive to people, and I think a lot of people get away with saying things they shouldn't. My opinion remains unchanged by messages I see on social media. However, some of the things I have seen that have gone viral make me scared that others will not remain skeptical of information they see on social media. 

Furthermore, I was exposed to political ads for candidates on YouTube before the election, but I can't say I ever really listened to one in depth. I tend to ignore these because most are negatively framed toward other candidates, and I don't think it's fair or effective to create ads like this. I am sure a lot of money is wasted by candidates who create these ads because I saw them many times and ignored them almost every time.

Student

I tend to watch Youtube in my free time and almost every video I watched showed the same Elissa Slotkin ad. By the time Election Day came around, I was super annoyed with the ad and had it memorized. My mom is also very politically active on social media so I was exposed to many of the nominees and the propositions that would be on the ballot through ads and articles. Some of the information, like the propositions, was very useful since I could educate myself on what they were and figure out what was opinion was in them. Some of the ads I saw I found out through family weren't true and it made me angry that people would risk their reputation to slander other nominees and skew the election in their favor. Elections are now based on social media presence and I find that interesting yet polarizing.

Student

Unfortunately, I have never been very educated or a fan of politics growing up. That being said, there is no doubt that I was exposed to a variety of election campaigns whether it be on Twitter, Facebook or Snapchat. People running for these positions had one goal in mind when running their campaigns: get my name and my message out to as big of an audience as possible. Social Media campaigns became a popular thing for many people, and it was easy for their supporters to show their love on these social media websites. I believe that as the technology based society we live in advances over the years that social media will play an even bigger role in terms of influencing the voters. 

Student

I’m not very active on social media when I’m not using the platforms for schoolwork, which is kind of weird, so I did not see a lot of this during the election. However, I don’t have Spotify premium so I heard quite a few radio ads for the candidates, Elissa Slotkin specifically. These advertisements were typical in that they just told the audience what her stance was and about her background. I wasn’t influenced at first, but the more I heard ads the more I began to actually listen to them. 

Student

I saw a lot of messages on Instagram leading up to the vote. Everyone that I follow on Instagram posted something encouraging everyone to get out and vote. Also, all the celebrities that I follow encouraged everyone to get out and vote. Some of the celebrities that I follow brought up the 2016 presidential election and how we need to make a change during the mid-term elections. I feel like a lot of people who were upset about the 2016 presidential elections posted on social media about how everyone should go out and vote during the mid-term elections to make a change.

Student

With this election, more than any, every single time I opened up any social media there were at least 5 posts/stories encouring people to vote. I was being exposed to a lot of peer-to-peer encouragement to vote and also older people encouraging younger people to vote. Seemed that the few weeks leading up to the election that is all anyone posted about! I personally wasn't influenced by what I saw because I was going to vote anyway as my friend ran for state senator for CT (and won! youngest in history) but I do know that a lot of people felt guilty for not voting after seeing it, were encourage or were annoyed- since it is a personal choice. I didn't do any research online but I did speak to alot of my peers about it and got those mixed reviews about all the social media hype

Student

Before the voting, I saw lots of videos and advertising on social media. As an international student, I don't have the right to vote, but we still want other people who can represent major public to vote fairly. I heard one of my professors said that if you feel your vote doesn't matter realize that many races are so close they're impossible to predict and you could make all the difference to your candidate.  I totally agree with him. 

Student

As the election day came closer and closer, I started to see more information about the election accross all forms of social media. This information was primarily focused on getting people out to vote, and it worked. Everyone who did vote shared that they did on some sort of social media. Not only did this encourage younger people to vote but it also showed us that we can actual make a difference if we put in the effort. That being said, I was most definetly influenced by the amount of people who made an effort to go out and vote. I did my research about the election and also voted myself because I saw so many people my age voting. 

Student

Leading up to and following the vote, my Facebook newsfeed was flooded with people discussing politics. Whether it was a complaint, a political ad, or someone posting a selfie with their sticker saying "Hey! I voted! You should too!" nearly every single post was about the election. I use Facebook not only to connect with my friends and family all around the world, but I also use it to stay in touch with past teachers and members of my church. With that being said, I know the day will come when I am applying for a full time job, my future employers will check my social media. Therefore, I keep my profile free of politics or any other biases whether it be politial or not. The amount of people on Facebook last week trying to influence my decision as a young voter, made me feel incredibly overwhelmed. I was annoyed at the number of people calling me, texting me, facebook messaging me and emailing me trying to influence my vote. This spurred me to do research of my own, which in turn prooved some of the advertisements on facebook of local candidates wrong. I'm glad I exercised my write to vote this year. 

Student

The primary social media platform that I use is Twitter. While I use it to view funny and/or relatable content, many use it to express their political opinions. This is fine, but something I have noticed over the years that has also become one of my biggest pet peeves, is the widespread sharing of incorrect information. I've seen countless examples of both purposeful and unintentional posts surrounding today's issues, and it becomes very frustrating to see people blindly sharing/retweeting/liking something that is incorrect. Many people (and organizations) tweet out information that is biased, out-of-context, or half true. This information then gets spread far and wide across Twitter, and the truth is often lost in arguments found under the tweet replies. I do not claim to be perfect at identifying when something is true or not, but I do certainly choose to not retweet or like things that I am not 100% positive are facts. If I read something that piques my curiousity, I will make the effort to research the topic and find truth on it; this can often be a challenge (more than it should be) because most websites tend to be just as biased as social media platforms.

In regards to the election, these biased and dishonest posts increases significantly. People will say anything for likes, retweets, clicks, etc. Headlines are framed to only tell a certain aspect of a story, and news outlets that are supposed to be unbiased show their true colors. I encourage people that use social media as a source of news and information to be sure that the words they are sharing are true, regardless of political stance.

Aside from this issue, I noticed how much of an effort younger adults made to vote in this election, and how they took to social media to do so. On one hand, I find it amazing that pictures, videos, tweets, etc can have such an impact on voter turnout. The majority of people on my friends' lists made posts encouraging their friends to get out there and vote. However, I do think that many began to pressure uninformed people to take to the polls, simply because voting became 'trendy' and you would be ridiculed if you do not vote. Since the election, I have heard from several people that they had no basis for their vote, did not know anything about the politicians on the ballot except for their political party, and made their decisions based off of what their friends told them to mark down. To me, this is frustrating, and as a member of the young voting generation, will try to bring light to in the next election. Informing yourself of the options and voting based off of what you believe rather than what others tell you to believe, is just as valuable as the vote itself. 

Student

My Facebook, Twitter and instagram feeds were flooded with people talking about the midterm elections. Personally I am not someone who talks pollitically on social media. I don't really read into anything on social media when it comes to politics because haven't we learned that not everything on facebook is true? I did my own personal research on varified sources and made my decisions. There are too many people out there who vote just for the "i voted" selfie. 

Student

I am from Ann Arbor, Michigan and have always disassociated myself from social media during election time.  There is an overwhelming amount of people on my feed, on all platforms, that decide to voice their opinion and if it's contrary to anyone else's it's ridiculed.  Although, I have made it a point to not only step away from social media, but before the elections, I conduct my own research about the candidates so that I can make an informed decision.  I believe that one of the major issues of social media is that it can lead individuals to have opinions about candidates and those opinions are swayed by others viewpoints. I think that there are a lot of people that see their friends voting a certain way or information showing up about candidates that they don't take the time to validate for themselves.  Generally, I think social media has led to less informed decisions and has inspired, in a way, groupthink.

However, one positive thing that I have seen stem from social media in terms of the election and that's generational voter turnout.  It is almost engrained in millennials/gen x to post on social media when they vote and it's frowned upon if you don't vote.  It's what the cool kids do!

Student

Leading up to the midterm elections, my social media feeds were flooded with posts.  Whether they were paid, promoted posts by a candidate, or someone's personal opinion, I was exposed to many different points of view that ultimately helped me to form my own opinions on candidates. However, I didn't let those posts shape my views entirely, because while they contained great information, they were biased, and I needed to do research on my own. 

Student

I didn't really see many posts about the mid terms elections on my feeds on Facebook. I only saw that the commericals on tv and the radio ads. The type of messages addressed both sides and trashed each other. I wasn't influenced by what I saw or heard. Just a little annoyed. I didn't do any research to confirm the truths or lies on the political campaign ads but some of them did seem a little farfetched and unrealistic. 

Student

The increasingly connected digital world was extremely appartent these past couple months leading up to voting day. I saw an incredible amount posts on all platforms of social media, especially from the younger generation of voters. More than messages about one party or the other - it was mainly messages of encouraging everyone to just register to vote. How to register, where to register and tips to make it as easy as possible. I think this absolutely had an influence on the record turn-out for the mid-term elections; shows that this digitally connected world can do some good. As far as personally being influenced by messages on social, I prefer to do my own research to make my decsions. I have been registerd to vote since I turned 18 and don't tend to let the messages of other people's personal opinons influence the way I vote.

Student

I really noticed the impact of the digital world on the election this year. In the weeks leading up to election day, I saw constant reminders to vote on social media. In the days leading up and the day of, I feel like voting reminders were the only things that I saw. Most of the messages were just general reminders to go out and vote. Some messages were informative about certain subjects or candidates that would be voted on. In addition, I saw several persuasive posts about voting specific ways. I was influenced to go vote because of all of the reminders that I was seeing. I felt obligated to vote because of the amount of posts that I was seeing. I was not influenced by any of the persuasive posts, though. I like to do my own research and make my own opinions in regards to this. 

Student

There was heavy influence from digital media on voting than previously seen before in my opinion. It was literally everywhere. I was being exposed to all types of messages generally just telling to vote and stuff like that. It was all over every social media platform that I was using. 

Student

The experience wasn’t as stressful as I imagined, so the whole process was really enjoyable. It took a matter of seconds and it felt really good to know that I have a voice. I have enjoyed this election, especially as it was my first. And I will definitely continue to be interested in politics. Politics is certainly more engaging when you’re actually participating and ensuring that you use your right to vote effectively. I’ve always been interested in the voting process, but now I’ll play closer attention to see if the elected parties fulfill their promises.

Student

In my freshman year, I took a class called Understanding Media. In that class, we talked about how influential social media is in our lives and how social media can effect people's opinions and political views. Politicans also utitilize social media as an effctive tool for their campaigns. It reminded me of the framing theory and agenda setting theory that I learned in that class. I also learned how to distingush fake stories on social media. I think I am not easily influenced by what I see on social media because I am a media person myself and most of the time I am able to figure out the purpose behind those social media posts. I used to use Twitter a lot. However, I stopped using it because I was hearing too many opinions and fake news. 

Student

Politics is part of the reason I've deleted all of my social media accounts. I prefer to not see what friends have to say about politics over social media platforms. I don't mind talking politics in person because there is a dialogue in real time. However, I hate seeing short summaries of people's political views in a post online. I think political discussions are more complicated than that. Plus people say things online that they normally wouldn't in person because they are hiding behind a computer screen. My opinion of many people has been ruined through poorly written and poorly thought out social media posts. I prefer to just avoid that stuff at all costs. I would rather be ignorant to a certain person's political views and just focus on our relationship as friends. Staying off social media helps me do that. Everyone deservingly has the right to their own opinion and sometimes I would just prefer to not know what it is. Escpecially if it's a friend that I like.

Student

I strongly support the use of social media by candidates, and I don't think this will affect voting. As we all know, social media has a great influence on society, and his communication power is also strong. People need to learn more about politics through social media platforms or communicate in this form. It is also important for political candidates to stay in touch with social media users. They can communicate positive energy through social media platforms, which is a good thing for society.

Student

I am embarrassed to say that before registering to vote in this midterm election, I was not previously registered. I did not vote in the 2016 presidential election and have seen and also experienced the consequences of not taking advantage of the opportunity to use my voice. Way too many Americans thought their votes would not influence the final decision, so many that it played a huge role in the election of our current president. I think the 2016 Presidential election was a huge turning point for everyone. Now people see the importance of going to the polls and casting a ballot on election day. There were so many advertisements to encourage people to get registered. I saw links on Facebook and Twitter that advertised a shocking headline, and when clicked, led people to the voter's registration form. I saw signs on the highways and roads while driving. All of my colleagues, teachers, friends, and family encouraged me to get registered. It was not until I was walking on MSU campus and I saw all of the yard signs telling students they need to vote. That was my turning point. I decided that I would stop ignoring the signs and I would use my right to vote. I think everyone knew how important going to the polls on this election day would be. 

Student

I was listening to the radio actually the day before the election happened and the DJs were discussing how there has been such a difference with the influence on how people vote over the years and how social media has definitely played a huge factor in that. You are completely right when you say it is hard to ignore the influence that social media has on not only voting but political views. There are so many channels and platforms that we are able to use and proclaim our views and beliefs. Not only do we say it with words but we show it with photos and graphics. I found that Instagram played a huge part in how people showed how that they voted. Photos of people's "I Voted" stickers were very common as well as "Vote" graphics. I found that celebrities used a lot of poll questions on their Instagram story asking their fans if they voted yet or not. I think it is exciting to see that how many people voted and truly cared about the act of voting and what it means. This is one circumstance where social media has played such an influence on our actions in a good way!  

Student

I did see a lot of political ads on my timeline on Twitter. Most of the ads were for the Michigan governor race between Gretchen Whitmer and Bill Schuette. The advertisements were mostly negative for Bill Schuette and positive for Grethchen Whitmer. Most of the ads came from some sort of Political Action Committee like ForOurFuture and VoteVets. I really was not influenced by either of the advertisements I saw, my friend works for a Super PAC, so I decided to vote to help him out. I did not research the content of the ads since I was not interest. If I was truly nuetral, I definitely would have researched more.

Student

I saw ads and mentions of the elections all the way in September. I recall seeing the very first ad mentioning a 'Democratic' stance via Google around September 17th. Literally the same day, my math professor mentioned the elections. My math homework, which I worked on earlier, focused on the electoral votes and percentages. After math class, I had every political ad for Michigan find me either through Facebook, email or my other apps (Lucktastic, Showbox,etc.). I truly wonder if, somehow, someone noticed my online history and saw my math assignments. It's just too much of a coincidence that social media and online ads reached me that fast, all during the same day. If anything, I saw more ads via my applications via my phone than on social media (at least during the month of October). I can't recall the algorithm that is used to actually predict the demographics via online, but its algorithm definitely knew that I was working on an assignment focused on Gerrymandering. Scary, yet fascinating.

Student

As everyone knows social media has experienced widespread popularity within our society and is continuing to grow. Along with that, the users of these social media platforms are increasing the amount of time that they spend on these pages. In our society, it has come to our attention that multiple users are becoming influenced by famous social media profiles. I think that this digital world has definitely influenced this year’s election. Multiple users on these social media platforms are also uneducated on what each candidate is capable of doing for our country making it easy for them to believe everything they see and hear through social media channels.

As the election approached my social media feed, in this case Instagram, was being blown up by all of the political posts. My close friends, acquaintances, people from work, the political representatives that I follow, and myself were all posting on our profiles which candidate and party we were planning on voting for. For example, the posts that I posted on my Instagram story leading up to the election were screenshots from John James Instagram profile and I would add a sticker saying to vote for him or vote republican.

 

Although I was exposed to media posts that were not for the party that I was voting for, my views were not altered or influenced by any posts that I saw on my social feed. In the family, I was raised in I was always educated on which each candidate had to offer and as I have grown into an adult I have developed my own perspective and own opinions for who I want to vote for and I hold those very strong.I have stayed updated with the candidates running since the beginning and that will be something I always do for future elections.

 

 

 

Student

I think the social media has a big impact on the elections, expecially on Twitter and Facebook. People can see a very different attitude from different social networking sites. In other words, this information goes through the social media and enters people's mind all the time. For example, the day before yesterday, I have seen most of inserted ads were about elections when I watched videos on YouTube. The information from ads made me feel a little shaken about the ldeal candidate in my heart. But in any case, I will eventually find some professional wevsites to verify the authenticity of the information. Of course, not only from signle one website but from at least two websites to do double-check. 

Student

For weeks leading up to the election I saw many posts on social media from celebreties, friends, family, you name it. Most post were negative toward our president and talked about voting to help the future of our world. I also read many posts about how many women including Muslim women would potentially be elected into the Senate/House of Representatives for the first time in history. I was so happy and in such shock that I did not believe it at first. I double checked online with different reliable sources and with my friends and they all confirmed it. This election will go down in our nation's history.

Ross Johnson's picture
Instructor
11/7/2018
New Media