COM 584 PR Campaigns

Inspirations, deep thoughts, surprising insights, or random ideas on how social media intersects PR.

The Social Media “Spiral of Silence”

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t care about politics. In fact, as I’ve gotten older (an obviously wiser) I have learned that my opinion about our political leaders is incredibly important, and I should express that viewpoint by voting whenever I can. That being said, in the last 6 or 7 years that I’ve spent using social media, I have never understood why people will purposefully share their political beliefs in order to spark a controversial conversation amidst the comment section. In The Content Code, Schaefer specifically notes that people tend to Like posts over sharing them in order to prevent upsetting their followers/friends, which is exactly the motto I follow when I’m browsing my social media accounts. And apparently that’s not so uncommon anymore.

In 2014, Pew Research Center conducted a study about the “spiral of silence” as it refers to social media. The “spiral of silence” is when people do not share their beliefs on public issues when they feel that “their own point of view is not widely shared” (Hampton et al. 2014). The research concluded that people were even less willing to discuss these opinions on social media, but rather would have a conversation face-to-face. Social media was designed to offer an alternative platform for discussion on social and other issues, and some do use it for that purpose, but many still refrain.

It’s not just on social media either. The research concluded that, in general, “social media users were less willing to share their opinions in face-to-face settings.” Clearly we now live in a society where people no longer feel that their opinions should be heard, let alone considered valid. It’s no wonder that the millennial generation has a tendency to refrain from voting in political elections.  I can only hope that the trend of keeping quiet continues shift, and that more and more people remember that, at least in America, we do have the freedom of expression, and that is not something we can let go to waste.

Works Cited

Hampton, Keith, Lee Rainie, Weixu Lu, Maria Dwyer, Inyoung Shin, and Kristen Purcell.               “Social Media and the ‘Spiral of Silence'” Pew Research Center Internet Science Tech                       RSS. 26 Aug. 2014. Web. 08 Feb. 2016.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on February 9, 2016 by in Chapter 3, content code, social media, Uncategorized and tagged , , , .

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 17 other followers

Follow COM 584 PR Campaigns on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: