When I awoke Thursday morning in Florence, both my Twitter and Facebook feeds were filled with posts and tweets regarding the presidential debate. Despite the final outcome of the debate, one thing was blatantly evident and that was the fact that all political events will never be the same due to the rise of social media.
Before the current popularity of social media platforms, people would simply watch the debate and then listen to their favorite newscasters comment and analyze it afterwards. Now, however, people can comment on the debate in real time, allowing for others to respond and share their opinions as well. The entire communication surrounding presidential debates has changed- people watch the debates in old media and respond to it on new forms of media. Now, unlike ever before, normal people have a voice in something that they never had a say in.
Another interesting aspect to consider is the fact that television analysts now use user's tweets and posts as a guideline to topics they will discuss in their commentaries. Wednesday's debate was the most tweeted about political event to date. The event mustered up over 10.3 million tweets. The tweets also indicated that most people felt that Romney had been the "winner" of the debate. Additionally, it has been determined that Wednesday's debate was the fourth most tweeted about telecast of all time, falling only behind the Grammy's, MTV's Video Music Awards, and the Super Bowl. It will be interesting to see how social media affects the remainder of the election, especially after Obama's successful utilization of it in the past.
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