12 November, 2012
Word Count: 1470
In this modern day and age, technology has become a major influence in our life. In the past decade, we have had a significant amount of technological advances in society that revolves around all aspects of society. Specifically, technology has allowed for ways for individuals to advertise information and express their personal opinions. With advances like cable television, having dozens of different news outlets, and another advance, the Internet, it has become very easy to broadcast bias, stereotypes, and personal opinion internationally. Are these social outlets necessarily accurate? Do these Internet sites affect the political opinions of our nations youth? The Internet creates a negative influence on the political lives of young voters because it is detrimental to the development of young informed voters.
The Internet is a vast, open network where users create and share media such as videos and pictures, information, personal opinions, and ideas publically for others to speculate on. Examples of these sites are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Wikipedia, and various blogging pages where online media can be accessed 24/7. Statistically, within the age group of 18-24 around 98% of these young adults are already using social media. Also, there is an average of 70 billion new pieces of content shared on Facebook each month and an incredible 2.9 billion hours spent watching videos uploaded to YouTube. In the United States alone, the average amount of time spent on the Internet is 7.6 hours per month (Social Networking Statistics). Social media outlets and common search engines are, for the most part, being used by the youth of the world and it has unlimited amounts of information that they can access. Many of these sites, however, have tainted information, and quickly turn fact into personal opinion. Because these sites are accessible by anyone, the information that is being advertised can be edited by anyone, which allows for tainted information and misinformed audiences. These sites are treated as an accurate resource and are used by young voters to voice their opinions. However, what might be deemed accurate political information has potential to be outright bias information. This limits the amount of true information that young voters can access creating the potential to be a less informed voter.
The reliability of the Internet is a controversial issue and it is that reason that one cannot trust everything they read on it. Many users of the Internet might conclude that online information, whether it is streamed through social media, search engines, blogs, or ads is in abundance. This allows for a variety of opinion and accurate information for the user to access. Major sites such as: Google, Twitter, or YouTube, can be used by typing in any term and instantly receiving thousands of pages full of information on any possible topic imaginable. With an asset as efficient as Internet resources, which gather information with ease, it would seem as if they allow young voters to become accurately informed voters; however, this is not true. Many users who rely on these sites for their political needs will come across information that is an open source to the public. The sites viewable by the public allow anyone to access them, however, just because they are accessible does not mean that the information is correct. Major online sites such as Google, Wikipedia, WikiAnswers, Answers.com, YouTube, Facebook Pages and Twitter actually confine users to information that they are comfortable with and already know, even if it is not politically accurate. This limits young voters to information that will not allow them to make educated decisions or become an informed citizen. Many of the these outlets mentioned earlier tend to mold to your perception of what is common knowledge to the viewer. For example, while watching...