Social media's impact on voters

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Advertising junior Aftyn Williams shared her thoughts on memes and Donald Trump.

By Kayla Robinson

It’s February and everyone knows what that means; the deadline of the election registration is coming. However, in today’s society, not enough young people seem to actually know who or even what exactly they are voting for.

A major factor in how the candidates are portrayed for the election ultimately revolves around social media. Things people see on websites such as Twitter and Facebook can play a huge role on how the younger generation view the different candidates and who is the best choice for the presidential primary based on what they read about them on there.

When certain Michigan State students were asked about how the Internet can actually impact people’s mindsets regarding the election, a majority of them all said that it reflects on the younger generation too much and without social media’s input, most millennials would be completely uninformed.

Advertising junior Aftyn Williams gave her opinion on the subject about how social media and things called “memes” play a huge role in people’s decisions, and she especially emphasized on Donald Trump.

“I think that a lot of the ‘memes’ reach to a lot of the younger generation who are just now becoming voters and it influences their decisions,” Williams said.

Williams also said that she noticed that all over Twitter, there is a tweet going around called the “I’m not voting for Donald Trump starter pack” that includes having a brain, a heart, ethics, and morals.

“That shows to those who are ignorant to it that Donald Trump is an idiot, which he is,” Williams said.

Williams also said she feels this way about Trump because of his radical policies and willingness to get rid of a lot of the working class based on race.

“Donald Trump as president would send the economy into a downward spiral,” Williams said. “He has also degraded women many times throughout the course of his career and he has a ‘top 1 percent’ mindset.”

Feeling this strongly about a candidate is exactly the type of passion the younger generation needs when it comes to the election.

Mentioned earlier about “memes”, their purpose is to explain a concept about a particular topic via the Internet and they are very popular mostly among the younger crowd.

Kinesiology junior, Tyler King, gave further input on how memes can affect political decisions.

“Especially for really young people, social media can be a dangerous place,” King said. “It’s really easy to get bias information and for it to get spun in a different way by what they see. People don’t think too much about it. They take whatever they say from a meme and run with it.”

King also gave an example of how someone could edit a photo of information they see online and go with it, when in fact, it could be fake.

“It’s just very easy for things to get misconstrued,” King said.

Along with social media being a factor, hearing friends’ opinions on the campaign could influence those who are uninformed as well.

Media and Information junior, Ade Olaniran, explained his thoughts further on how relying on your friends’ opinions, instead of educating yourself, may not be the smartest thing to do.

“It’s the fact that they’re probably not going to be thinking for themselves if they can just depend on their friend’s opinions,” Olaniran said. “Depending on who their circle is and who their friends are, that is probably going to affect their decisions more. Especially if they know nothing about the election themselves.”



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