Trump social media dominates campus dialogue

jonathan-e-heislerBy Stephanie Torres for the Hofstra Chronicle

Despite the aggressive use of social media to reach out to the large population of first-time voters on the part of Donald Trump’s campaign, a majority of Hofstra’s campus remained neutral heading into Monday night’s debate.

Social media, and particularly Trump’s use of social media, has inspired a large variety of opinions amongst students. Trump has used Twitter and other forms of media to influence voters’ opinions of him.

“Donald Trump has invested a lot of money in social media. He created a Snapchat geofilter … it was very smart because everyone sees it and then that leads to people talking about him,” Brooke Bifulco, a senior marketing major said.

In the past, Trump, the Republican nominee, has known how to work the media through his experience with reality TV programs such as “The Apprentice” and the Miss Universe pageant.

The younger generations of America have turned to, and become reliant on, social media as a primary source of political information. This can be dangerous considering many millennials fail to seek out the source of the news they receive.

In response to whether or not social media is the best way to reach millennials, graduate student Mahnoor Saeed said, “I say no because 44 percent of people in the United States get their information from Facebook. Facebook gives you the news you want to hear because they know your interests. They will give you your news, not the news.”

Some students say Trump’s domination and aggressiveness through social media will influence voters to steer away from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and become confident that he is the right candidate for the presidency.

“Campaigning is different now,” Guiseppe Chiaravalle, a senior rhetoric major and Trump supporter, said. “Trump has shown you don’t need to spend the money that you traditionally have to spend on a campaign because he utilizes social media. He purposely says outlandish things to control the new[s] cycle.”

Trump has been known to be more of a businessman, rather than a career politician like Clinton. Some students find this refreshing, while others see it as frightening that a man with little knowledge or political experience could be our next president.

“He does not give us what policies he is going to change. Whatever question he gets asked, he always answers with ‘it’s going to be great,’” Saeed said.

“It’s really unfortunate that he got this far,” Nabiha Rahaman, a graduate student, added.

This election cycle’s group of young voters has proven to be bigger than the population of baby boomers. They will be one of the major deciding factors of whether or not Trump has conveyed his platform successfully through social media.

The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication is a center of creativity on Hofstra University’s campus. Our students are producing award-winning work, presenting research, and kickstarting their careers as future communications industry leaders. Prestigious faculty lead small, intimate classes and combine expert teaching, mentoring and hands-on experience to create a rich, collaborative learning environment.

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