The impact of social media on teen’s political views

How social media influences the opinions of today’s youth

Photo courtesy via Creative Commons

Photo courtesy via Creative Commons

As the election approaches, people start to see a rise in teen’s participation in politics. All different forms of social media have been trying to inform the youth about this upcoming election.  However, not everyone thinks this is a good thing. People are questioning whether social media is a good way to spread information about today’s issues. Some feel as if it is an easy way to spread awareness about things going on in the country, while others think that it makes it easier to spread bias.  

Today’s teens have been more politically informed than ever. Kiley Peña, a sophomore who is very politically active on her Instagram, explained, “I’ve always been invested in politics, and it makes me happy seeing my friends who have never taken an interest in them to start posting things on their story, and raising awareness on what’s going on in today. Informing teens now will lead to more informed voters in future elections. There are a lot of reliable accounts on Twitter and Instagram, you just have to be careful in order to find them.” She believes that her fellow classmates getting more involved in the world of politics through social media is beneficial to America’s future elections. 

However, others see social media as a way to spread bias and misinformation. Mackenzie Lou, a sophomore, said, Obviously it’s hard to find a news source that is 100% impartial, but the best thing someone can do is look at both sides of the story and then draw their own conclusions. But people who get their information from social media, especially on apps like Tik Tok, which is mainly used by teens, are only being told half of every storyIt is extremely easy for videos on Tik Tok to be seen by thousands of people in a matter of seconds, and if that video has incorrect information in it, you now have a huge group of people believing it and not realizing it.”  Mackenzie believes that especially on platforms like Tik Tok, it is extremely easy to spread misinformation, causing people to have inaccurate beliefs. 

Garret Kelly, a research writer aPlos One, a website that produces publications of peer-reviewed science articles, stated, Over the past decade, social media, hatransformed how Americans get political news. Perhaps as a consequence of their high profile, these technologies have become an important conduit over which misinformation is spread. However, when used correctly, social media use can produce only a small increase in endorsement of falsehoods.” He seems to see both sides of the argument, explaining how social media’s huge influence can help and harm the opinions of young voters. 

Since there are only days left until the election, it is more important now than ever to educate the youth. Their source of information is very important and can affect whether they’re given accurate facts. The best thing for one to do is be aware of where their research is coming from, by making sure it is impartial.