Political Activism, Facebook Style
May 6, 2013

Political Activism, Facebook Style

We are all involved in social networking, whether you use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or some other site. I doubt there are even ten percent of redOrbit readers who don’t have some form of social networking open as they read this.

We use them for connecting with friends, for following our favorite celebrities and bands, and for spreading funny pictures of cats and the latest viral craze. More often than not these days, though, we use them for political involvement.

A new report from Pew Internet reveals that 39 percent of all US adults participated in some form of political activity on a social networking site during the 2012 campaign. Here is a scary analogy for that number: more Americans are now politically active on social networking sites (SNS) than the number of Americans who were even using such sites during the 2008 campaign. During the 2008 campaign, only 26 percent of US adults used a social networking site of any kind, for any reason.

A few more numbers from this report:

In 2012, 17 percent of all adults posted links to political stories or articles on SNS. Another 19 percent posted other types of political content, representing a six-fold increase from 2008.

Twelve percent of adults in 2012 followed or friended some sort of political figure – candidate, pundit, etc – on a SNS. Another 12 percent belong to a group on their social networking sites advancing a political or social issue. This is up four-fold from 2008.

I called these numbers scary earlier, and in one sense they are. In another sense, perhaps this is answer in the digital age for political apathy. I know that I have been more politically vocal on Facebook than I have been in years without it. So, I say keep posting those political cartoons and articles. Let’s Rock the Vote, Facebook style.

Image Credit: cowardlion / Shutterstock

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