Social media, youth key to political mobilization, says educator

Assoc. Prof Danilo Arao tackles the relevance of youth and social media in political mobilization. photo by JANINE C. PEREA

THROUGH THE proper use of social media, the youth can empower and raise social awareness in the society, a journalism educator told Thomasians in a forum held Thursday.

Assoc. Prof. Danilo Arao of the University of the Philippines Diliman believes that the youth can serve as a tool in political mobilization even by merely uploading relevant posts on social media.

He reminded the youth to weigh in the relevance of what they are posting online, noting that political mobilization “has more to do with how we use information and [share] it via social media.”

“The realization in political mobilization is that you don’t lose sight of the bigger objective which is shaping public opinion,” he emphasized.

However, Arao said that the content of online posts is neglected because the youth are getting too preoccupied with the platform itself.

“[The] youth are more enamored with network gaming and social networking sites. It is the form that precedes the content,” he said. “We need to know [this] because as future political scientists, you have to read through the text to make sense of it. You can’t be stuck with the form. You also need to look at the content.”

Furthermore, Department of the Political Science Chairman Asst. Prof. Dennis Coronacion noted the improvements on social media made by the new generation which “triggered various events in lives and resulted to political mobilization.”

The seminar titled “Think and Click: Youth and Social Media in Political Mobilization” was spearheaded by the University’s Department of Political Science and The Political Science Forum. F KRYSTAL GAYLE R. DIGAY

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