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Social Media Polarisation: A Shift on Contemporary Politics

I have always been interested in understanding the depth of politics and sharing my opinions on political views, especially since the occurrence of social media allows us to have freedom of speech (maybe not always) and more up-to-date information regarding politics. I have lived in a ‘democratize’ country for 20 years, and up until today, I have still not been able to see the true meaning of ‘democratization’ in a country that was strongly religion-based. I have decided to draw Indonesia’s 2014 presidential election as an example because this was one of the most historical phenomena in Indonesia. It was an eye-opening tragedy that woke most people blinded by the system. I am grateful yet disappointed with the use of social media in political needs, especially in Indonesia, because since the occurrence of social media, we have been able to communicate simultaneously with millions of people, widening our vision of problems and shaped new perspectives in our lives. However, some people use social media only for popularity by provoking things to ‘fit-in’ with the occurring situation without cross-checking or even have any deep-understanding regarding the issues, which then leads to a negative online sphere. Through my podcast, what I am trying to convey is how most users in Indonesia managed and used their social media less positively in terms of political needs. Young people in Indonesia are very active on social media and actively partake in activism; however, most of them conveyed their opinions and thought in a very ‘rough’ way evoking controversies that may have affected people who were not participating in any of the activities. However, they do create ‘democratization’ online and environment and offline as well, increasing more awareness and information for many people. 

As I mentioned before, social media allows us to freely speak our minds and share it for the world to see; however, it would not be fair if we share something online (especially if its a sensitive or essential topic) without research to back up our arguments. In that case, I have mentioned several names of the researchers in my podcast to back up my reasoning to make it more valid and credible for people to hear. All of the information that I provided in my podcast was all research-based, and the opinions were conclusions that I have made from reading several resources and additionally the observation and experience of myself by the effect of the social media war back then. 

In terms of additional content (voiceover, background music, etc.), everything is originated made and done by myself. I feel like making these other content by myself as a form of skill development and exploring my abilities (also, it heightened my creativity) level. 

I was not very sure to talk about politics, especially when people now are highly sensitive towards the political institution, views, or anything regarding politics primarily online. In case you wanted to read and deepen your understanding regarding this topic, I can say that many resources discuss ‘social media & politics’ and also regarding Indonesia’s 2014 election. By that, I have not encountered difficulties in finding any resources. However, most discussions regarding ‘social media & politics’ discuss more likely about the problematic view rather than the beneficial view, and that is why my podcast dominantly talks about the problematic aspect. Through this, I have learned and deepen my understand regarding social media and politics (also, I have more insights on politics in Indonesia and the U.S after did some research for this assignment). However, I feel like I still need to develop my arguments and deepen my data findings to create more valid and credible information.

Reference List:

Auvinen, AM, (n.d), Social Media: The New Power of Political Influence, vol. 1, pp. 1-16, retrieved 22 May 2020 <https://www.martenscentre.eu/sites/default/files/publication-files/social-media-and-politics-power-political-influence.pdf>

Baker, M 2009, The Impact of Social Networking Sites on Politics, The Review: A Journal of Undergraduate Student Research, vol. 10, pp. 72-74, retrieved 22 May 2020 <http://fisherpub.sjfc.edu/ur/vol10/iss1/12>

Kholid, A, Husein, R, Mutiarin, D 2015, The Influence of Social Media Towards Student Political Participation During the 2014 Indonesian Presidential Election, Journal of Government and Politics, vol.(6)2, pp. 247-264, retrieved 22 May 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.18196/jgp.2015.0019>

Pătruţ, B, Pătruţ, M 2014, Social Media in Politics, Case Studies on the Political Power of Social Media, vol. 13, pp. 1-373, retrieved 22 May 2020 <http://www.springer.com/series/10796>

https://thediplomat.com/2018/05/indonesia-election-race-heats-up-with-social-media-war/

https://pdgc2015a.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/the-role-of-social-media-in-contemporary-politics/

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