Accepted to the National Communication Association Conference!

My extensive research on students perceptions of activists and the Occupy Wall St. movement (among other things) is paying off. The panel has been accepted to the Communication and the Future Division of the National Communication Association. The 99th annual conference takes place in Washington D.C. in November. Read on for my paper abstract:

Influence of Social Networking on Activism and Perception of Activists

Activists increasingly use social networking sites to mobilize and organize for social causes. This study examines the relationship between students’ connections on social networking sites and their participation in causes offline, in addition to their perception of activists. A convenience sample of thirty-five students at a large southeastern university was interviewed. Research findings showed that students were more likely to participate in a cause offline if their friends were also attending the event. Facebook, in contrast to other social networking sites, was found to be most effective for facilitating mobilization efforts. Consistent with these findings, students who were part of a social network in which people espoused activist sympathies were more likely to hold favorable perceptions of activists, though not necessarily embrace the label for themselves. While nearly all participants agreed that the label ‘activist’ carried a stigma, some participants were more readily identified with the label than others. Despite Facebook’s mobilization efficacy, many participants reported feeling less comfortable voicing their political opinions on Facebook in contrast to Twitter, Tumblr, or Reddit.

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Infographic: Social Media From 550 BC – Present

I stumbled upon this user-friendly infographic while perusing WordPress last night. For centuries, people have sought ways to connect with each other over time and space.┬áThe earliest example is the postal system, which emerged in 550 BC in ancient Egypt, Persia, and China. The telephone and radio were invented in 1890 and 1891, respectively. Although we still use these media, it’s interesting to observe how they have evolved over time – the postal service to email (in 1966); the radio to YouTube (2005) and Spotify (2007); the telephone to smartphone (2000).

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