[21] Social Media’s Affects in Politics

Social media has created a drastic change in the way politics is advertised in our culture.  Specifically, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have changed the way campaigns are being run and how voters engage with officials. It allows politicians to make speak directly with voters without spending a dime. This outdates the original paid advertising of newspapers, direct mail, Yellow pages and Magazines Ads. (seenBEST)

 Online social media allows companies and politicians to  create commercials and post them on YouTube rather than on the radio or the television. In the past the radio was the politicians only resource to broadcast their message till televisions became the next big thing. Between 1933 and 1944 Franklin D. Roosevelt used the radio a series of 30 times, giving addresses names the Fireside Chats. (The American Presidency Project)

In the beginning, political advertisement was scarce. The radio minimized the politicians down to a voice – this caused national campaigns to become similar to one on one and intimate with the everyday Americans. This was to get people to know their faces known and to defeat the idea of being dehumanized. In fact, according to Paul Suggett, “in 1948 Harry S. Truman covered over 31,000 miles in America, shaking over half a million hands!“ (Suggett) These campaigns also spurred the need for the sneaky rhetoric all politicians are stereotyped with today. Politicians had to be careful and quick on their feet when answering the questions of the public.

By the 1960’s politicians got their bodies back with the emergence of televisions. “Presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first politician to really take advantage of this new medium, creating 40 twenty-second TV spots.”, “…the content was simple – Eisenhower took questions from the audience, and answered them in his trademarked “no bull” way.” (Suggett)

 Soon after televisions become huge, came the discovery that Image needed to be the next big focus for politicians! Good teeth and charisma became a necessary attribute with all the close-ups and speeches held. This blurred the idea of a president being a politician and a simple popular icon, one could say politicians tried the position similarly to being a celebrity.

Our politicians have to concern themselves with their image, retaining an audience, and creating/adjusting plans that would facilitate and contribute to the American Public. Once would say that the later of creating/adjust plans has become lost in all the glamour of being what is now deemed a television celebrity.

A good comparison would be John F Kennedy and Nixon. John F. Kennedy was born for the camera, while Nixon was jittery on camera. Kennedy had the right image, and never addressed his opponent in a negative way. He was thought to be a shoe in for the presidency if you watched to the debated being televised.

While if you listened to the radio – you heard the exact opposite. The radio broadcasted political ads from Nixon saying “don’t vote for this candidate” rather than “vote for me because… (Suggett)

Today, the television is no longer the main source of information as it used to be. (seenBEST) Today people are on their phones to find out about the news. Applications such as Facebook and Twitter are how people discover the most trending new and read journalist’s reports on big stories.

Posted ads on Facebook and Twitter allows users to share and retweet campaign events, announcements, videos, and broadcasts. Users can even watch speeches and events by going live on Facebook and Instagram. Everything on these platforms are current and constantly updated. The competition for the presidency is all about the tones and content being broadcasted and keeping a constant stream of information flowing to voters.

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