Social Media enables Americans to voice opinions

The rise of social media websites has been a helpful tool for Americans to not only voice their political opinions, but it also serves as an apparatus for people to learn about candidates running for office.

But does it really have a monumental impact on voting?

A 2011 survey conducted by Digitas, an integrated advertising agency, found that nearly six out of 10 social media experts expect that presidential candidates will have a presence on social media and around 50 percent of social media user said they use the various websites to learn about the candidates. The digital advertising service also discovered that the Democratic Party jumped 14 percent during the past four years, while Republicans had a 25 percent increase.

Andrea Frantz, a digital media associate professor at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, said that she has seen her student’s live-tweet during debates however, if people perpetuate half-truths or rumors without checking the facts, social media can have a negative impact on the election.