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Effects of Social Media on Political Awareness and Participation. A Study on Students and Politics By: Kristina Walker, Alex Englehart, Kathleen Riley, and Suzannah Davidson. Purpose. Primarily to see if social media is a viable method to reach college age voters. Purpose.

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effects of social media on political awareness and participation

Effects of Social Media on Political Awareness and Participation

A Study on Students and Politics

By: Kristina Walker, Alex Englehart, Kathleen Riley, and Suzannah Davidson

purpose
Purpose
  • Primarily to see if social media is a viable method to reach college age voters.
purpose1
Purpose

Can social media increase the political activism of its users?

literature review
Literature Review
  • "The Rise of Non-Traditional Site Use for Political Information", by John H. Parmalee, John Davies, and Carolyn A. McMahan
  • "Social Media and the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election" by A. Maruggi and E. Metzga
literature review1
Literature Review
  • “Does Political Knowledge Increase Turnout? Evidence from the 1997 British General Election” by Valentino Larcinese
research questions
Research Questions

RQ1: Are students using social media?

research questions1
Research Questions

RQ2: Are students using social media for news gathering?

research questions2
Research Questions

RQ3: Does the use of social media affect the political awareness of students?

methodology
Methodology
  • Survey
    • Online: Qualtrics survey generator
    • 15 questions
    • Closed ended and a few open ended
  • Participants
    • College students
    • UNC-Chapel Hill students
methodology1
Methodology
  • Reaching possible participants
    • Posting survey to Facebook/Twitter
    • Interception of participants around campus
    • ONLY reaching out to college students
methodology2
Methodology
  • Recognizing that this is a convenience sample
  • Reducing the "convenience" in our sample
    • Listervs from different departments
    • Stationed at different place around campus
results news organizations and social media
Results: News Organizations and Social Media

71% follow news organizations

43% follow politicians or political organizations

conclusion
Conclusion

Quantitative research allowed us to see exactly how many of our respondents used Facebook, Twitter, or both to interact with politicians and news outlets, indicating their interest in politics and thus voting.

conclusion1
Conclusion

Qualitative research allowed us to gain a better understanding of how students use social media to interact with politicians and news outlets to further their knowledge of politics. It also supported our theory that social media does play a role in the political awareness of college age students.

recommendations
Recommendations

Recommendation #1

  • Establishing a social media presence is an effective way to reach the college age demographic.
recommendations1
Recommendations

Recommendation #2

  • When going through social media, publish through news organizations
  • Reaching more people with this association
    • Users are more likely to see these profiles compared to
recommendations2
Recommendations

Recommendation #3

  • Utilize Twitter and Facebook to brand politicians as tech savy on a national level.