Concluding Social Media and Politics

Unfortunately, I did not receive the interview questions back from Congressman Collins yet so that I could include them in my research. However, I hope to get them back soon and add the information I obtain from Mr. Collins to my guide I created for this study. I regret I did not have a sufficient amount of time to add in Mr. Collins view.

In conclusion, I learned a ton about the benefits of social media and how beneficial it is to potential politicians as well as everyone else. There are so many ways social media can be used beneficially such as, candidates conduct Q&A’s through social media for personal voter insight which I did not know about previously. I also found it interesting that candidates use social media to poke fun at the opposing candidates, which lures more voters, especially the young voter population. Obtaining the young voter population is very important for candidates because prior to their legal voting age, young people can become interested in politics and learn about the importance of having their own personal view when election time rolls around.

Speaking of the young voter population, many young people do not realize how important it is to maintain clean social media. Starting at a young age is the most beneficial way to keep your social life clean and will make my Guide to Clean Social Media a breeze to follow. I feel like it is super important to maintain a clean social life in order to benefit everyone, especially yourself in the future. Inappropriate posts or pictures can create unwanted definitions of a persons lifestyle that is unnecessary and can occasionally be offensive to others as well. I explain in step by step detail why these things are important in my Guide. Originally, I was going to focus my Guide on politicians using social media, but it seemed more logical to focus it on politicians and everyone else because the issue of inappropriate uses in social media today is continually increasing.

I have successfully concluded my first ever independent study at the University of Georgia! This has been such a wonderful experience and I would do it all over again because I have learned so much about social media and politics, as well how to maintain a clean social network. I encourage everyone who has never had the opportunity to conduct an independent study, to do one on something that interests you before you graduate.

Happy Networking! 🙂


Congressman Doug Collins Responded!

Earlier this week I received a response from Congressman Collins’ office when his secretary informed me that I would soon get a call from Mr. Collins’ event planner. About 30 minutes later, I received a call from Ms. Thompson, Mr. Collins’ event planner. She asked for my email address and we then exchanged emails about what my study is about and what the interview with Mr. Collins would consist of. I explained the details and sent her an attachment of the questions I intended to ask at the interview. Ms. Thompson emailed me back and said Mr. Collins would answer each question thoroughly and she would get it back to me as soon as possible. I have not yet received the answered questions from Mr. Collins as of today.

Understandably, I will not be able to meet with Mr. Collins because he has such a busy schedule. However, verbatim responses to my questions from Mr. Collins is just as good in my opinion! I cannot wait to receive his feedback and use it in my study. It will be so helpful to have an actual politicians point of view on this topic of social media and politics.

To further my research, I found two more very interesting articles. The first is Using Social Media in Your Campaign by Joe Garecht, that explained since we have the joys of social media today, campaigns do not really need email lists and websites. Social media has taken the place of those things and especially with easier access and communication with voters. I specifically liked this article the most of all the articles I have read because Garecht gave a list of how to successfully use social media in campaigns, very similar to the topic in this study. I will use this article the most as a reference throughout my study.

The second article I read was Political Campaigns and Social Media – Tweeting Their Way into Office by Laura Jerpi. This article was about how critical it is for campaigners to use social media during their campaigns. Chris Saad mentioned that instead of voters looking for “the best smile or makeup” in a politician, they are now looking for a politicians’ connection with their  followers on social media networks. I thought it was interesting Jerpi mentioned that politicians use social media mostly for feedback from their followers by doing Q&A’s. This ties in with why there are more young voters voting since politicians have used social media. However, Jerpi mentioned that social media is a “small glitch” and politicians will soon go back to using their campaign sites because they are more valuable to a politicians campaign and career.

I agree with everything in both articles except for where Ms. Jerpi mentioned that social media is a “small glitch” for politicians. I believe that politics and technology will only grow and I truly doubt politicians will replace social media with their campaign sites in the future. I think social media is so easy to use that it will only get more popular and continue to benefit politicians in their campaigns and careers.

I am patiently waiting for a response from Congressman Collins and as soon as I get one I will be blogging about it! Hopefully it will be very soon! 🙂

Exploring Social Media and Politics

Today, I began sifting through my resources I found for my first ever independent study! I am so excited and cannot wait to see what results I find. I decided on a topic about Social Media and Politics because I am very interested in political campaigning and politics, as well as social media and its many benefits. I am intrigued by the use of technology in political campaigns today and the difference it has made with voters and results for candidates.

I started my research by reading an article from the New York Times, Campaigns use Social Media to Lure Young Voters that talks about the use of Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and Instagram in the recent presidential campaign between Romney and Obama. They emphasized that most of the controversy during the campaigns was mostly between candidates on Tumblr with funny, querky videos where one candidate points out a flaw of the other and so on. This apparently appeals to the young voter because the videos are funny and dramatic. Also, photo based social media sites like Flickr and Instagram are used mostly for presidents to post joyful pictures they take while traveling across America during the campaign, not so much for controversy between candidates.

The second article I read was one by iSchool based on a local political campaign in Syracuse, New York, Exploring Tech Behind a Political Campaign. I really liked this article because it focused mostly on a local perspective of campaigning and emphasized that candidates use social media to build personal connections with voters. This is very important because the policies presented by the candidates in a city or county will rely heavily on voter choice and social media allows voters to keep track of who they agree most with.

I plan to keep reading research related to the above in this study and I hope to find out more in depth details. I am also currently trying to set up a meeting with Congressman Doug Collins to interview about his experience using social media during his political campaign. I am waiting for a call back now!

Wish me luck! 🙂