INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON VOTING PATTERN OF YOUTH IN 2019 ELECTION

 Abstract:

This research looked at the social media and voting pattern of youth  in presidential election. The study was anchored  on Technological  Determinism Theory  stated that media technology shapes how we as individuals in a society think, feel, act, and how society are operates as we move from one technological age to another (Tribal- Literate- Print- Electronic-Internet). Social media as an emerging tools for political mobilization, organisation, education and political interaction was used to the fullest for the first time in Nigeria politics.  The research used quantitative method (survey) coupled with  100 copies of questionnaires as a data collection instrument in eliciting data from the respondents that were selected using multi-stage sampling to draw respondents from Gwagwalada Area Council. The data collected were analysed using Descriptive Statistics (frequency and percentage method). Findings show that (81.1%) have access to social media platforms with Facebook, Twitter and Youtube topped the list of social media visited regularly. Also, voting choice of electorates during presidential election was influenced by the social media partially and lots of respondents were busy using social media for  one activities or the other ranging from getting exposed to political campaign, reading and commenting on political matters etc and it is very obvious that the future of social media for electioneering is  bright if the challenges sported such as poor internet access, source credibility, low level of the literates, poverty, abuse of social media among others could be corrected. It is therefore, recommended that political office holders, those who loss and political parties should keep maintain their online fans, followers and keep relating with them, seek their opinions on matters, know how they are feeling etc. Don’t wait until another election.

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