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Social Media's Power on Governance and Society

There are many factors as to why social media is so effective in society the first being that it the power mobilize civic society. This is essential to any political campaign. The reality is every campaign needs volunteers to help spread the message and participate in the daily activities of the campaign. Social media helps spreads messages and has to contact a large number of people in a short period of time. Therefore, the recruitment process for volunteers is simple , effective, efficient and fast. The more people a campaign has spreading the message of a candidate and their agenda the more likely they are to influence other voters. During the Modi campaign 2.2 million volunteers were recruited.

A key element to understand is that during any form of advertising or media there is a concept called “noise”. Noise can be anything that prevents a message for reaching their intended target. Social media eliminates this concept for the most part as the messages are being sent directly to the intended individual and often their friends and associates. Since most people tend to follow the same group as their friends social media makes political communication simple and easy. This leads to the multiplier effect. If someone is using social media and they see that a majority of their friends and associates are involved they will most likely follow them.

Social media definitely has an interesting role in democracy in that it not only makes civic society active participants in politics but also the decision making process. It offers and allows bipartisan communication because civic society is actively voicing their opinions and needs while politicians and potential political candidates have to react and respond to their messages. Voter are usually the happiest when they are able to have their voice heard and see real and direct actions from politicians.

Social media is exciting for voters as well as the rest of civic society as they are able to actively participate in political communication and interact with those that have the same beliefs as well as those that do not. Social media is able to bring so many groups of civil society together to generate and share ideas as well as influence policy makers. This is also an exciting time for democracy in that people are able to communicate and share ideas from all over the world making them come together and work toward a common good. This is definitely true for hashtag activism where people come together to bring awareness and give support to a certain issue.

These factors have made civic society more excited and interested in politics again. As political participation increases so does democracy. Thus far social media plays an excellent role in preserving democracy. Aside from preserving democracy it makes topics on political agendas more accurate and a better reflection of the actual needs of the general population. Social media makes this easy as social media networks are able to systemically process data thus enabling the ability to create user generated content. This content is complete based on the activities of the users thus making it highly accurate and relevant. With user generated information there is no guessing involved.

Some wonder if social media is just a fad and will eventually disappear or have no influence on politics. This is unknown just as the future is unknown. But what is true is that social media does have an effect on politics, social mobility and political campaigns. Since this is the information age and people are becoming more attached to their smart phones the future for social media appears strong. It will be exciting to see how the political strategist will incorporate social media and evolve.

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