According to the recent survey, which was conducted by Pew Research Center, significant information towards the clarification of the influence of social media in political information has been provided.
This is an important debate, which essentially began during the past decade and has been intensified from 2010 onwards. This, which the academic community seeks to answer is the extent to which the use of the social media can be correlated significantly with political engagement. More and more people of all ages use the Internet and specifically the platforms of social networking in order to being inform, discuss and generally to develop a multi-faceted social activity.
This event was the inaugural incentive for the political elite to develop a communication channel for political messages through specific websites. Gradually, political information was established on social networking platforms and especially on Facebook and Twitter. The cause of consolidating political information there is the initial objective, which the specific platforms have set. Moving the full social activity on Facebook for example, has gradually build a new community.
The user found his old friends, made new friends, shared photos, his habits, his favorite music and gradually talked about what concerns him. It was matter of time before it is time for politics. Newspapers and magazines have created applications to in order the news articles to be shared on Facebook and beyond, and publications gradually moved the center of gravity on the internet, creating pages and sites. However all this information was not enough to constitute a significant relationship between the use of Facebook and the political engagement. There were missing data, which now they arise from the increasingly massive use of social networking platforms.
The latest research of Pew Research Center comes to show that now the younger Milennials are politically informed from Facebook. Older groups, the Baby Boomers, while using these platforms, still cling to traditional media, while the majority of the intermediate ages, X generation, turn to Facebook as well. This research is only a part of a whole research that has been conducted by Pew Research Center, in order as many relevant dimensions of the issue to be enlighten.
What may be the practical interpretation of this finding today?
While the rate of youth engagement policy continues to be small and be accompanied by a reduction in political trust and abstention in elections, the fact that young people, mainly, engaged in Facebook for getting political news and the fact that getting political news on Facebook is among the most usual habits they develop on Facebook, are powerful findings. In addition, the text states that in general, in all age groups, the interest does not only focuses on ideologically related news, but also on news from other ideological standpoint. This is interesting if one considers that the ideological barriers have stopped and a new political concept may arise. People, especially young people, are looking for answers to social issues, which are related to new needs, on which political parties are unable to take clear positions. The online political dialogue contributes to political information, ideas are developed, electoral decisions are made and communicated and requests are out. All these constitute a new digital, societal agenda, which the official political elite, worldwide, is now obliged to follow more and more insistently, more and more effectively in order to follow the voice of society and to produce a comprehensive, modern and efficient political discourse.