Opinion dynamics on interacting networks: media competition and social influence
The Relationships Between Mass Media, Public Opinion, and Foreign Policy: Toward a Theoretical Synthesis. Annual Review of Political. But social media communication tools have profoundly changed our develop the relationship using phone calls and in-person meetings. the ability of each person to influence public opinion and policies increases. Donald Trump Jr. uses awful dog-eating meme to attack Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. with the impact of internet memes on digital natives and digital migrants in India. Parameters . There has been a direct relationship between politics and . Malaysia: A study on use of new media in politics. Journal of Democracy- Creative.
We find that prosumers are more likely to participate in politics and see themselves as opinion leaders. Based on their self-perceptions of opinion leadership, social media prosumers subsequently tend to be more likely to attempt to persuade others about politics. Our results demonstrate the influence of social media use on the political persuasion process and provide a unique theoretical model of how citizens attempt to persuade others in the digital media environment.
Opinion Leaders in a New Context: Prosumers and Social Media Although much research has investigated the impact of political opinion leaders in the pre-Internet era, there remain several important questions about whether and how citizens politically impact others within social media.
This raises the possibility that the nature of political influence and opinion leadership has also changed.
This raises the question of how influential opinion leaders can be if they are no longer the mediators between media content and their less-engaged peers? Furthermore, Bennett and Manheim argue that people are increasingly fragmented and less social, and thus less reliant on interpersonal influence in the areas of politics and public affairs p.
Though provocative, this perspective has received criticism, and empirical evidence challenges it. These technological changes in the media environment also create new and, perhaps, easier opportunities for people to attempt to persuade or influence others in their social networks.
As Turcotte et al. Further, whereas the influence of opinion leaders in the traditional media environment was constrained to those in their immediate discussion networks, online leaders are able to reach a much larger audience using a variety of platforms and behaviors.
Thus, it appears online influence remains strong, and justifies the investigation of how social media use, opinion leaders, and political persuasive attempts are related. If we are to examine the potential influence of opinion leaders in social media, we must next evaluate who is considered influential or an online opinion leader.
Within social media, opinion leaders may be identified by their volume of communication activity, as they are more likely to trigger message replies, initiate conversations, and diffuse information Huffaker, Of course, not every social media user writes a post on Facebook, retweets a news story, takes part in a discussion on Reddit, or generates and shares news videos.
Or, at least, not every user engages in these behaviors to the same degree. A long-held notion of Internet behavior suggests most users do not actively participate much online, while a small minority of users account for most contributions.
Thus, much behavior online and in social media follows a power law distribution in which most content or posts online are created by few people e. Indeed, recent work examining how people participate in social media indicates that a small percentage of users are highly involved in creating and distributing content e. Although the total volume of content online may be contributed by relatively few individuals, a majority of Internet users create content and share information, such as news, from time to time Pew, a.
Today, posting a comment on Facebook or tweeting a message is much easier, for example, than writing or editing an entry on Wikipedia or maintaining a blog e. Thus, we pose the following research question: What percentage of social media users are news prosumers? Prosumers resemble opinion leaders in that they more frequently interact with others, are highly engaged with news and information, and are more likely to share and distribute content with others in their social networks Ritzer et al.
The connection between prosumers and opinion leadership is important because research has consistently found that traditional opinion leaders are more social, consume more news, and are more likely to participate in politics.
Much research has shown that the more engaged individuals are with news and political information online, the more likely they are to get involved politically. For instance, individuals who consume online news and information are more likely to discuss politics and participate politically e.
Opinion dynamics on interacting networks: media competition and social influence
If social media prosumers parallel traditional opinion leaders, we would expect that their behaviors related to news and political information should increase the likelihood that they participate in politics both online and offline. Thus, we offer the following hypotheses: Social media prosumers W1 are more likely to participate in politics offline W2 than nonprosumers.
Social media prosumers W1 are more likely to participate in politics online W2 than nonprosumers. Social Media Prosumers, Opinion Leadership, and Political Persuasion We also expect social media prosumers to consider themselves to be opinion leaders as a result of their activities online. Research on opinion leadership has linked higher levels of mass media exposure to opinion leadership Katz, ; Weimann,and these individuals are more engaged in communicative activity and hold a more central position in their social networks than nonleaders Weimann, In online contexts, research has found that influential posters to online political discussion boards receive a highly disproportionate number of replies to their messages and can set the topic agenda for these discussions Himelboim et al.
Further, messages from opinion leaders on Twitter were significantly more likely to be retweeted, suggesting these individuals were influential in distributing content Choi, Actively engaging in multiple behaviors within social media gives people a quantifiable assessment of their influence, which should affect their self-perceptions of opinion leadership.
We can not only locate potential collaborators and employees through interest-focused Facebook groups, Twitter searches, and niche social networks, but perhaps more importantly, social media gives people who have time, but little money for advertising, the chance to engage with others and promote their business. A recent article in the New York Times concluded, "For many mom-and-pop shops with no ad budget, Twitter has become their sole means of marketing.
Who we do business with and how we promote that business has moved increasingly online, and for small business especially, social media has proved valuable. How We Meet and Stay in Touch with People People certainly still meet others at social venues like clubs and parties, but it is easier than ever to discover people who share our interests through social media, whether that means via groups on Facebook or following people on Twitter.
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Even if your interests lie in an obscure area, like 15th century poetry in France or Nepalese art, there is probably a Facebook group about it, and a Twitter search will likely turn up other people talking about the same subject. Of course, there is only so much communication that can happen through a social network, but via Tweetups and other in-person events, people are expanding these online interactions to face-to-face meetings.
The introductions are initially made through social networks, then people develop the relationship using phone calls and in-person meetings. What We Reveal The old paradigm in communication was that people generally revealed very little of their fears and doubts. They tried to present the image of themselves to other people as completely confident and knowledgeable.
The goal was to make sure that you appeared like you were always in complete control. But this is shifting, in part, because of social media. The paradigm is now no longer to try to appear perfect, but to be more transparent with your thoughts and feelings, to reveal your humanness.
We now have queens acknowledging that they get nervous at times when speaking, CEOs being more honest and at times using blogs to express reservations over past decisions, and people openly sharing personal views on social issues. Of course, what we decide to reveal and when to reveal it can be delicate, and there will always likely be items we wish to keep private.
However, rather than working to hide our thoughts and feelings, social media is helping to create greater personal transparency. What We Can Influence It used to be a big deal that Oprah had over 20 million people watch her show every week or that the New York Times was read by millions of people, and while these large media outlets still control much of our attention, now with social media, power is increasingly more widespread.
So-called mainstream media is no longer always the driving influencer of public opinion. On Twitter, some individuals now have a million or more followers, Facebook Pages can also have hundreds of thousands of fans, and YouTube videos can get millions of views when they go viral. Most of this content is coming from regular people, rather than big, corporate-owned media organizations. For example, people like occasional Mashable guest writer Brandon Mendelsonwho has overfollowers on Twitter, have used social media to increase their influence beyond what was possible for "regular people" in the past.