This year’s election is an important one — we all know that. And every election before this one and the ones to come after have been and will be extremely relevant and important for American culture; especially in terms of social media. I feel that this year’s election escalated to new proportions due to the continued growth and usage of social media. And with new, popular networks such as Instgram, Pinterest and Tumblr, it a got a little more visual, too.
Through the year, I saw blog and Facebook posts from my friends and brands’ pages that sparked controversy or cued voters in. Tweets from President Barack Obama and former Governer Mitt Romney (no matter if they were really from them or not) were cast throughout debates, events and more. Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr users shared memes that related to the presidential election that soon spread like wildfire and, sometimes, made a mockery of the candidates. (Binders full of women, anyone?) And many of these posts, memes, photos, blogs and tweets were an attempt to try and sway voters either one way or the other.
But all of these postings and their meanings come down to what happens on this day. Tonight, we’ll find out who the 45th President of the United States of America is, but before we do I wanted to share some pretty stunning social media facts surrounding 2012’s election from sources such as The Wall Street Journal, MediaBistro and The New York Times:
- “39 percent of adults use social media solely to discuss politics.” (Source)
- “Research indicates that more than 1.8 million tweets are sent every six minutes discussing this election.” (Source)
- “In 2008 there were 1.8 million tweets sent on Election Day and now that is accomplished every 6 minutes.” (Source)
- “Four out of 10 people will use social media to help them make a decision come election day – so the candidates had better do all they can to present themselves in the best light, in 140-characters or less.” (Source)
- “Twitter Bombing” is a factor to watch out for this election, which Panagiotis T. Metaxas of Wellesley College’s Media Arts and Sciences Program, “describes as “creating a large number of Twitter accounts and sending a large number of unsolicited tweets to unsuspecting users within a short period of time,” can potentially confuse voters, especially if it is done shortly before the elections.” (Source)
- The number of TV viewers that tuned into this year’s numerous debates was significantly higher from 2008 because of social media’s eminent presence. Brian Stelter, New York Times media reporter, believes the engagement and discussions online from users encouraged followers, fans and friends of those users to tune into debates to see what was going on. (Source)
Did social media change your vote? Empower your vote? Let me know below!