Students more likely to vote based on social media connections, AT&T survey reveals

Lynn University opens Social Media Lounge for debate weekend, mobile app includes new debate module
Students more likely to vote based on social media connections, AT&T survey reveals

Published Oct. 17, 2012

As Lynn University prepares to host the final presidential debate on Oct. 22, its students are expected to be highly active online, using mobile Internet to upload pictures, videos and status updates across social media networks. Additionally, a recent survey conducted by Lynn students reveals they are very engaged with politics on social media outlets and mobile Internet.

The AT&T 2012 Survey: Mobile Student Vote reveals 79 percent of Lynn students are more likely to vote in November because they follow a presidential candidate on Twitter or Facebook. The survey also reveals Lynn students are not only willing to participate in political discourse via social media outlets; 58 percent would use smartphones to cast their ballot if “mobile voting” were available.

“The survey provided great insight into the importance of social media, the influence it has on political campaigns, and the perspective of college students, said Michael Weiss, student at Lynn.

AT&T 2012 Survey Results:

  • 93 percent said it is important that candidates use social media to connect with the public.
  • 87 percent believe it is “Somewhat important” or “Very important” to discuss political or public issues via social media.
  • 85 percent of those surveyed use their mobile phones to check Twitter or Facebook.
  • A combined 60 percent of students said political messages on social media outlets or online news sites are most likely to earn their attention.

The survey was conducted by 25 Lynn undergraduate students enrolled in “Campaigns in the 21st Century,” a class led by Stephanie Jackson, assistant professor of communication, media and politics in Lynn's College of International Communication

“In an ever-evolving technological world, understanding the significance of social media in the lives of college students provides a platform for increased political awareness and citizenry,” said Jackson. “The survey results reflect a societal shift in how students get their information compared to previous election years.”

The survey is based on in-person surveys of 272 Lynn undergraduate and graduate students, using the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 8.9 tablets.

Social Media Lounge

Given the importance of social media to the 2012 election and Lynn’s dedication to the medium as a top social media college, the university will have a Social Media Lounge for students, staff and faculty to share stories throughout debate weekend.

The Lounge, which will help promote Lynn’s social platforms including Tumblr, FacebookYouTube, TwitterfoursquareInstagramFlickrGoogle+ and blogs.lynn.edu, will open Friday, Oct. 19 and close Tuesday, Oct. 23. It will be centrally located in current Center for Learning Abroad in the lobby of Lynn’s Student Center. 

A group of media volunteers, student storytellers, are specifically tasked with capturing stories and sharing them throughout Lynn’s online platforms. To handle the high mobile demand on campus during the #lynndebate, AT&T is beefing up its network on campus with an onsite Cell on Wheels – or COW – and an antenna system installed to boost mobile Internet coverage and capacity.

Lynn Mobile app updated

In addition to Lynn’s social media efforts, the university has updated its mobile app to include a debate module. The Lynn debate module displays a live countdown for the Oct. 22 presidential debate, in addition to the latest debate-related news and events. Media can use the app to access to Lynn’s online debate media kit.

The free app, developed by Straxis Technology, can be downloaded on any smart phone by searching for “Lynn University” in the Apps Store or on the Android Market.

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