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Monday, May 2, 2011

Political Engagement and Social Media

Prior to the White House address, Facebook statuses were speculating as to what the President would announce. Within minutes after the speech had concluded, students swarmed the ISU campus, cheering and shouting. The mob grew to over 2,000 students by its conclusion after 1:30 am.

Many speculate that student political disinterest is a type of epidemic in American society; without educated voters, democracy cannot continue. However, the quick and passionate student response to this news may indicate the use of social media to spread awareness. After all, a presidential address at 1030pm would be difficult to catch otherwise, especially with finals coming up this week.

With the help of Facebook and Twitter, students became aware of the event. They shared their congratulations and concerns via social media; social media allows all of us to become news reporters. In a few hours, videos and pictures of the rally will begin to flood Facebook as the students capture their place in American history. These simple actions make students more politically engaged, and hopefully will spark further interest in following political movements.

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