The Impact of Social Networks on the Formation of Political Culture
Globalization is the process that affects the entire modern world. It penetrates all spheres of life, one of which is the political culture. One particular aspect of globalization is that people get most of their information from the Internet. At the same time, social networks play a significant role as well.
Most people, the large share of whom is youth, receive a lot of false information from the social networks, which confuses them and creates a distorted picture. Thus, the impact of global social networks on the formation of political consciousness and awareness is a major aspect of the increasingly globalized political culture. Moreover, an additional source of information would be necessary to change the situation.
To confirm this idea, the paper has been divided into several sections. The first part addresses the theory of political culture and some difficulties of its relation to the formation of the globalized political consciousness. Next, innovative ways of minimizing the threats of the use of social networks as a method of influencing voters are discussed. Lastly, some remedies and solutions for this issue are proposed.
The Theory of Political Culture. Difficulties of the Influence of Social Networks on the Formation of Political Consciousness among Youth
To understand the impact of globalization on political culture, this concept should be defined. Political culture is experience recorded in the customs, ideas and views. At the same time, globalization of political culture currently determines the level of activity in the political life. Political values, interests and trends that make up the political consciousness, are the elements of political culture. Political consciousness determines the decision-making process during elections.
To make an informed decision concerning elections, each voter must have sufficient information about the candidates. At the same time, globalization has made Internet the most convenient and fastest way of getting information. Young people spend most of their time surfing social networks, which is one of the manifestations of globalization. They are provided with an opportunity to disseminate information around the world with speed to reach enough audience. Because of globalization of political space, social networks have become suitable for spreading information to policy makers. Political forces use them as a new tool of influencing public opinion.
It has become a complex problem with no clearly right answers. The underlying difficulties should be presented. Social networks divert attention away from the main political issue, create an image of the candidate under the influence of photos and slogans. This outcome is inevitable and impossible to influence. Moreover, young people as part of the population have low interest in politics. They do not have sufficient means to filter and analyze all the information they receive from social networks. Most politicians regularly upload photos and brief information about their actions that emphasize their positive personal qualities. Thus, they manipulate the emotions and feelings of the society and distract attention from the real political decisions.
There is another difficulty concerned with spreading political information in social networks. Some politicians instead of or together with creating their own image, spread negative information about their opponents. Thus, it confuses voters or provides them with a false opinion about a particular event. Moreover, this scheme of presenting information distracts voters for the benefit of politicians.
Thus, the challenge is to create a way to minimize spreading of false information by political parties or individual politicians. They form not completely objective views concerning their activities than influence the voters’ choices. The main emphasis is on youth, both active Internet users and a part of society that does not understand politics well.
An Innovative Way to Minimize the Difficulties of Using Social Networks as a Method to Influence Voters
A large number of youth draws information from social networks. Therefore, some remedies and solutions to this issue should be provided. First of all, the information should be filtered. However, it is very difficult to completely filter the information which is provided on the Internet, and this task is even harder when it comes to social networks. Continuous monitoring and removal of not objective and reliable information from politicians requires a lot of resources. For example, such a goal during the current active political program would require hiring thousands of people who would filter information propaganda. However, the number of users and the propagation velocity would still be significant.
If the information cannot be filtered completely, society would need to create an alternative source of information. Such alternative source of information about politics could become a new information reserve. For example, it could be a globalized site, which would contain the most objective and reliable information about political parties, leaders and their activities. Such resource would make it possible for all interested parties to obtain relevant information and would generate adequate political consciousness.
The Advantages of Creating an Independent Informational Resource
The advantages of this innovative method would be directly derived from the scale of its implementation. The main goals of this resource is to provide the most objective information about political power and be accessible to all. In order to ensure the independence of this site, the society needs to minimize the maximum share of its funding. Thus, technical support of this resource could be provided by one of the international organizations.
In order to ensure objectivity, the content should be divided between many sources, which should also be relevant and timely. In addition, the main task of this resource is to capture a segment of young people, becoming an alternative source of information on political power. So the best way to fill this resource will be to attract students and young scientists from all over the world.
Such organization of content would have its advantages, because students and young scientists form a part of society, which uses the Internet easily as well as analyzes and discloses available information. The method of its presentation would be intelligent enough, but not too separated from the modern youth. This approach would enable interested young people to generate adequate political awareness.
A number of advantages will be generated by the structure of the future information resource. It will include the official policies of the parties, which will allow readers to clearly understand the ideology and activities of each of them. It will contain biographical information on the candidates, both party leaders and individual politicians, which will allow different individuals to assess them. A separate section will include promises of political forces or candidates, which will allow to identify the authors and degrees of compliance. Thus, it will allow voters to understand the political promises and draw some conclusions.
Additionally, such site should provide a section with analytical articles about the activities of political forces, including their relationship to contemporary problems and challenges. These articles will create a comprehensive picture of the political forces and their work on topical issues.
Another part of this resource will be a section with video materials. These materials will not be prepared interviews or roller scenarios developed by political forces or candidates, but debates and interviews with unexpected questions. Thus, voters will be able to see the natural reaction of the candidates and their commitment to different strategies.
To ensure the objectivity of this resource, students and young scientists will be able to post information about all countries, except their own. Moreover, for the greater interest of the authors, part of analytical articles could be used in their research papers or personal projects. Before the election, a group of students and young scientists will be selected on a competitive basis. This group will prepare information about the politicians who will participate in the elections. This way of organization would provide a higher level of objectivity. The resource should also contain comments and field questions. They will allow feedback from the readers.
Thus, this information resource will provide an opportunity to receive a number of benefits pertaining to comprehensive understanding of the political forces and their activities. In addition, it will allow students and young scientists to think politically. At the same time, it will be positioned as an analytical resource, not as a social network.
Minimization of Impact of Information
In general, a new information resource will not compete with social networks. This resource will help to minimize the negative impact of media on political culture in social networks. The image of the resource will be delivered by its authors who are students and scholars engaged in the hot issues and who can provide verified information. Moreover, they will have no interest in the election results, which distinguishes them from the political forces.
The site should be convenient to use, which means no registration. As users usually do not like to register, increased traffic is guaranteed. Visitors will be able to view information about various candidates at any time. The identity of the visitors will not be disclosed. Thus, it will enable to catch audience faster, which will automatically minimize the number of people relying on information from social networks. Minimization of the impact will also be possible due to the more convenient use, because all information will be systematized within the divisions. Search option will be easier than in the social networks, as search of different pages, groups and news will be possible.
The decline of influence of political news on social networks will be achieved also due to the fact that the presentation of information on the resource will be simple, concise, and transparent. The authors will be limited in the number of words. Thus, it will enable people who have no information about the political forces to quickly understand the situation.
Another advantage of this resource will be the presentation of information. Since the data will be provided in the form of short messages about the events, the complete article will be specified as well to provide comprehensive understanding. In addition, a decrease in the influence of political information from social networks will be achieved by the access to the new resource in every workplace. Moreover, the absence of biased and negative information will also provide confidence in the new resource and reduce the popularity of social networks as sources of political information.
Thus, these advantages shows that the new information source will provide more trustworthy political information that the social networks. In addition, the completeness of the information will make this resource interesting, because it will increase political culture among young people. Lastly, it will minimize the impact of information on political issues through social networks and will cease to form a distorted understanding of political events and political culture.
The use of social networks as a mechanism for influencing political consciousness of the electorate has become one of the most difficult problems in the contemporary political culture, generated by globalization. The main influential audience is the youth segment, who is an active user of social networks. Alternative social networks may become independent sources of information. Their content would be provided by students and young scientists, which would make it objective, interesting and relevant. In addition, it would develop political awareness among students and young scientists. The lack of registration and unlimited use of such resource in the workplace would make it more affordable. Systematization of information would give the most comprehensive and objective understanding of the political forces. It would give the opportunity for young people to analyze programs of parties, candidates' biographies, promises and their implementation independently. Opportunities to comment and ask questions would enable feedback. A number of advantages of this resource could make it a serious competitor for social networks as a source of information about political movements. The creation of this information resource would increase the awareness of young people concerning the policy issues that would develop political consciousness and culture. This would eventually lead to the minimization of the impact of information on political power through social networks. Thus, an additional source would be a necessary solution to change the situation.