21st Century Social Media Politics: Instagram

The best things about American politics is the rhetoric, ideologies, visionary plans of action, and social media posts. In the 21st century, we know that politics has turned away from sitting by the radio to listen to the president, vice president, congress, and local elected officials. The American people have really started to watch politics on social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and campaign websites. Much of politics have been showcased to reveal the most important issues that these elected officials deal with day to day. The battles they take on for the American people and their ideological values. American politics have shown a new turn for balancing the black and white stones on the scales of Justice.

Political leaders face public ratings to measure where they stand on certain issues with the American people. Research institutes like Florida State University college of social sciences have taught graduate students, like myself, to reach for a deeper understanding about the social patterns of online platforms. For instance, I have been researching the comment and likes sections of Instagram for "big name" political actors. These actors include President Biden @potus , First Lady Dr. Jill Biden @flotus, Vice President Kamala Harris @vp, U.S Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) @sentedcruz, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo @nygovcuomo, Governor Ron DeSantis @flgovrondesantis, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (not government account) @marcorubiofla, White House @whitehouse.

During my research, I have concluded a few significant patterns of speech that have been coming from the comment section of their recent posts. There have been an overwhelming amount of negative comments from @potus, @whitehouse, and @sentedcruz which have been about certain bill proposals presented to congress. Often the comments have a negative ideology of the opposing party or towards the individual themselves. It has been certain that this will happen regardless of what the actual post content is about. However, what really makes these comments significant is the amount of people that like them. One comment that can be negatively directed towards the other party can have up to 500 plus likes within the first few hours. Usually, these negative commenters are people that don't have a lot of pictures or content of themselves. For this blog post, I'll call them ghost writers. These ghost writers hide behind the protection of limited posts or information about themselves to gain popularity through their comments on political actors posts. Most people that do read the comments on these posts, finds the comment that has started to gain likes and fits their ideals regardless of actually checking if the person is really sharing their own lives on the social media platform.

Another point of view is the likes section of each post. I noticed while scrolling through these political actors posts that they can have over a million plus likes for a single post within a few days. The higher quality picture gets the most likes. The "in action" picture with the blurred beautiful background and high definition angles can gain over a million likes within hours. The pictures with the political actor working with other people in the community can get to the upper one hundred thousands. The closer the shot with the better quality camera can easily put their likes in the millions consistently. The idea of a closer, "up in front" type of shot can give them more leverage for viewers to read their statement closely and engage in the comment section, either with a like of a comment or making one themselves.

Social media is one of the fastest ways to get a reaction out of the American people. These posts are added to the discover section and IG TV to reach a broader audience. Boredom and lack of in person involvement in citizens daily actions can turn to an online or virtual response within seconds of a political post. It's safe to say that social media affects our lives immensely on a daily basis and we are intaking information rapidly to understand how our political world is changing. The future of politics is social media.


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