I bet every one of you can tell me what the most re-tweeted photo in the history of social media is because it flooded all of our news feeds the night President Obama was reelected for his second term. That’s right, the photo of the President hugging first lady, Michelle. The article, “Social and Anti-Social Media” written by Richard Parker attributes this focused Internet activity on the “changing landscape of media consumption”. Something us CSMT students are familiar with after reading Eszter Hargittai article, “Whose Space? Differences Among Users and Non-Users of Social Network Sites,” published in 2007 right before Obama’s first election. The same demographics that helped President Obama win the 2012 election, “young women, Hispanics, African Americans, Asian-Americans – that made the difference are among the fastest adopters of social and mobile media”. The growing presence of all these Americans supporting President Obama on social media networks, as well as the progression of accessibility with smart phone mobile devices, helped make quite an impact on circulating media not just the day President Obama was reelected but throughout his entire presidency and both campaigns. Though an extensive study of Obama’s social media in 2012 has not yet been conducted, his 2008 campaign built “5 million supporters on social networks, had 2.5 million followers on Facebook, and 50 million viewers watched 14 million hours of video on YouTube.” By looking at the two candidates 2012 social media presence post election it is clear the results will look very similar. Obama’s Twitter followers alone reached nearly 25 million compared to Romney’s mere 2 million. Parker of New York Times says that in 2008 this huge online following translated to even greater offline results financially allowing for Obama to receive a larger amount of incoming donations to go towards further promoting his campaign. Going off of how much Obama support I have seen on my Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram networks the past year this really comes at no surprise. I guess all I have to say is baby boomers better learn how to tweet if they want a say in our next election.
The Winning Re-Tweet: The Winning Hug