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Cell Phones, Social Networks and Politics

With the most recent mid-term election dominating my timeline on Twitter, I thought I’d find an article concerning this. And in accordance with my suspicion, far more people are involved on social media during this midterm election in comparison to that of the election four years ago. Statistically speaking there has been both a double in the number of registered voters using their phones as well as following their favorite political figures on Twitter. This is in itself intriguing but the reasons as to why more people are involved on their cell phones and Twitter accounts is even more interesting (although common sense).

The most common reason now seems to be so that they can get a leg up in political knowledge. By following their favorite political figures on Twitter, users feel that they will “find out political knowledge before others do.” While being the first one to know something is a driving reason behind following political figures on Twitter as seen in the drastic increase in people citing that as their reason, one that remained constant is even more telling.

Reasons for following political figures on social media

The second section of this chart suggests that people may follow political candidates because it makes them “feel more personally connected.” The sense of connection has been discussed thoroughly in our class specifically dealing with network ties. And although it may seem like a stretch to say that some people’s reason is in hopes of creating a strong or weak tie with the candidate themselves, it is definitely not far fetched to think that it creates ties between those who follow the page. With a common tie as strong as that of political belief or endorsement, the instant connection between followers is bound to occur.





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