The Takeover: New Media’s Role on Civic Engagement

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Pushing the peas around my plate, I looked around at my family. Sunday lunch at my Grandmas had been a tradition in our family for as long as I could remember. We always sat around the table talking and watching TV if something interesting was on that we all agreed upon. This particular Sunday CNN was on and we were listening to continued reports on Chik-Fil-A and their media frenzy dealing with opposition to gay marriage, but it seemed like something was bothering my Grandma. After watching her in silence for a couple of minutes I finally asked, “Grandma, you alright?” She said, “Its just astonishing how far technology has come since I was younger. People came together by texting and networking on computers, and we are sitting here watching it on TV. If my generation would have had that kind of technology we could have gotten so much more accomplished.”
My Grandmother’s words really backed up the idea that new media has and can continue to increase and influence civic participation in a positive way. Citizens- young or old- choose to participate in public, civic life when they have ability, motivation, and opportunity to do so (Carpini). In history, faith in the efficacy of civic involvement results from the methodical depreciation of the public district over the past thirty years (Carpini). Today, new media technologies increase the faith, amount, and quality of civic engagement among young adults by providing more access, organized interests, and new or easier opportunities for engaged and not yet engaged young adults to participate more and effectively (Carpini).
The innovation of new media has helped citizens from all across America come together for civic causes and has acted as a platform for volunteering and being acti...

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