Are young people who join social media protests more likely to protest offline too?

Oct 17, 2012
© Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Among adults who use social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and blogs for political purposes, 42% are under the age of 30. A case study of the controversial Budget Repair Bill in Wisconsin explored whether young adults who use social media are more likely to engage in offline protests, and the results are published in an article in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

In the article entitled "Killing the Bill Online?: Pathways to Young People's Protest Engagement via Social Media ," Timothy Macafee, University of Wisconsin-Madison, compared the relationship between information-seeking behaviors online versus expressive engagement online (defined as using social media as a "soapbox" to share personal views and political events and issues) and actual participation in .

"Individuals use social media primarily for informational and expressive purposes," Macafee concludes. College students used social media to gain information related to the protests in this case study, but that activity did not affect their offline behavior; whereas, "expressive" political social media use encouraged offline protest participation.

"Using social media for information gathering has quite different implications for real world behavior than does use of social media to express oneself (through blogs, tweets, etc.)," says says Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCIA, Editor-in-Chief of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and , from the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, CA. "As young people utilize social media for information gathering more than traditional means, such as television or newspapers, those wishing to influence opinion and individual behavior should pay heed."

Explore further: All together now – three evolutionary perks of singing

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Online dating scammers looking for money, not love

Mar 28, 2012

Online romance scams, a new form of cybercrime, is under-reported and increasing, and has victimized an estimated 230,000 people in England, costing them nearly $60 billion a year, according to an article ...

Journalists 'can't work without social media,' study shows

Sep 20, 2012

(Phys.org)—More than a quarter of UK journalists are unable to work without social media despite an increasing number of concerns about productivity, privacy and the future of journalism, according to the 2012 social journalist ...

Recommended for you

All together now – three evolutionary perks of singing

Dec 24, 2014

We're enjoying the one time of year when protests of "I can't sing!" are laid aside and we sing carols with others. For some this is a once-a-year special event; the rest of the year is left to the professionals ...

We're simply having an analogue Christmas time

Dec 23, 2014

The British Christmas that Charles Dickens serves up to us is rich in food and warmth, two things that in his day were often thinly stretched throughout the year in many homes. These days, for most of the y ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.