Social Media and Politics at UP


Caitlynn Kelley

Photo illustration of Frank Wild, the Computer Media Specialist, looking at the Donald Trump Presidential Campaign for 2020 at the computer lab.

Caitlynn Kelley, Journalist

Presidential and other types of campaigns of people running for office have benefited from social media accounts which help them reach out to voters. Voters can see what the candidates are doing on the campaign trail and it can also help them feel more connected with their candidate of choice. President Trump’s twitter account has garnered a lot of attention since his presidential campaign all the way in 2016. His tweets have helped him show his voters his beliefs and has also showed how candidates and presidents alike are able to wield their power through social media usage to voters. 

Senior Katrina Gilbert talked about how she noted about how social media campaigns interact with each other. “I noticed that a lot of campaigns focus more on tearing other candidates down rather than building themselves up and showing their ideals, which would make them more likely to be voted in.” She also explained how other University Preparatory students are affected by social media campaigns. “I think the students only see what the media tells shows them and take it as fact instead of researching the story.”

Frank Wild, the Computer Media Specialist, talked about how he has noticed how political commercials have influenced voters in the past. “In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan had a lot of positive, upbeat type political ads and it made people a lot more eager to support and vote for him because he created an invigorating, positive attitude.” He also noted how students are impacted by political campaigns on social media. “I think it’s more reactionary. I’ve known a few students who follow campaigns, but a lot of it is just like ‘Oh gee, here is what they said’ and they get mad. It’s usually more negative than positive because it’s just usually just people being upset or angry over something that they think that a candidate said, which is probably something that they did say, but it may not be in the context that they meant to say it. It might be something that is taken out of a bigger speech or something like that.” 

Social media has always had a major impact on political campaigns; social media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, have amplified political discourse and reach. Although social media has united voters more directly with candidates, it has also divided many. It’s crucial for voters to realize that necessary facts and context may not be presented on social media.