Facebook Takes the Election

If your Facebook page was anything like mine on Election Day this past week, it was full of “I’m A Voter” announcements. I will be the first to say that I was one of the people clouding up your wall if you are friends with me because I heavily support being an active voter as well as encouraging others to participate in our governmental system as well. Not only was it interesting for me to see the number of Americans that participated in the Facebook action, but later I examined the effect that this has on our election system. With a generation that relies heavily on our social media, it’s not surprising that the influence of media has increased the voter turnout. Certain political scientists worked with Facebook in 2010 and realized that over 340,000 votes were contributed to the election purely from Facebook usage (NPR). Although this seems like a smaller number when comparing it to the actual number of voters, if we recall the 2000 presidential election, the final results was decided by 537 Florida ballets. If we examine the studies like this, we are able to see that Facebook could potentially have the ability to sway the election results. So while sharing the information about you civic service, also keep in mind the power that each individual has and the power they control by affecting others. Although my Facebook is usually full of cat videos or weird links that my mom posts on my wall, the impact that I made on Election Day feels pretty rewarding.

Jessi Johnson
River Village ALA