Social media´s influence on young voters

Grace Hepner, Santa Fe Staff Writer

When discussing Generation Z (Gen Z), social media is the main difference between Gen Z and past generations. Nowadays, Gen Z´s perception of the world, including politics, comes from Google on a square box with a bright screen. Their entire world lives inside of it. All of their hobbies, friends and opinions are manifested online.

Gen Z obtains most of their political knowledge through the perspective of others´ social media platforms. This knowledge comes from the awareness threads that their friends are posting on their Instagram stories. Even though this can be a good first step in the right direction, the reader should investigate, so they can obtain a more well rounded perspective of the events taking place. 

“I feel as though learning from social media has helped me see other’s issues and why I should care about them,” Santa Fe Senior Taylor Barker said.

As of election day, a surge of Gen Z voters are now registered. To help make a decision, it is not uncommon for users of social media to follow those with opposite political perspectives. However, some think this strategy does more harm than good.

¨I believe that social media has negatively influenced the perspective that our generation has on the presidential nominees. It has put them under such a harsh light that I feel like Gen Z will just not vote in this election or if they do they will be unsatisfied with their choices because of how negative the media is with the nominees,¨ Santa Fe sophomore Trump supporter said.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, many believe that there will be an influx of voters in this election; a direct result of social media campaigning. Celebrities such as David Dobrik, Taylor Swift and countless others have used their platform to encourage voting registration by offering giveaways and guidelines to support their choice of candidate. 

¨Our generation is constantly consuming new media. This means that the circulation of whatever type of media is a result of what [they] choose to interact with. So really social media has the potential to impact our generation´s role in the upcoming election in terms of political awareness and involvement,¨ Santa Fe senior Isabel Nuñez said. 

Though there are differing opinions to how social media will influence the election, one thing remains consistent among the thoughts of students. Social media does have a huge influence on Gen Z and the outcome of the presidential election will be a direct reflection of that.