According to Turow (2009), communication is a basic feature of human life. People will do interaction each other to transmit the meanings. It shows people are not able to not communicate even the silent could be categorized as communication. There is a place where people communicate through technological instruments, like newspaper, TV, and radio (Turow, 2009). However, the development of technology brings a new way to communicate through internet. Firman (2013) mentioned the number of internet users in Indonesia reached 75 million. The existence of social media helps internet users to get any information and also fulfil a need of communication. Indonesia is the fifth rank of social media users in the world which not only for chatting with colleagues but people also discuss political issues, government policies, even the attitudes of public figure or political actors either positive or negative (Nuniek, 2013). The tendency of people to take a part in social media is proved by reaching its rank as if a must to be update with surrounding. This condition might be seen because the emergence of digital era influences a human life-style which enforced people to follow any changing. The communication technology keeps developing by the time goes by. A new invention is founded and spread quickly to the world. There will be several considerations why social media could be effective for political movement, such as the power of social media, social media as a tool of campaign, social media spend very few of money, and social media are many to many communication.
The first possibility is because social media have power to influence a large number of people with a broader coverage. Nuniek (2013) told that almost 20 percents of total population in Indonesia has account in social media. And around 57 percents of it are the youths with ability in using internet or called as internet literacy (Firman, 2013). Those numbers really work in activities which conducted through social media. There are some examples that have been done and success to collect support even donation. Based on Jakarta Post (2013) social media in Indonesia have proven to be effective in triggering public movements. A case of Prita in 2009 can be one of story. It is a social movement which collecting coins to help Prita for paying the fine imposed by Omni Hospital. The supports came from thousand people and various backgrounds, until the result raised 600 million rupiah which more than Prita’s need. “Coins for Prita” described how social media has power to manufacture publics (Jakarta Post, 2013). From this situation, political parties, public figure, and political actors utilized social media to deliver any information and issues to be more well-known in society and there will be awareness or attention from publics. That is why the power of social media could be considered as one reason to have political movement effectively.
Because of the power that social media had, some political actors use it as a campaign tool. In an age of timeliness and demand for information, the media plays a crucial role in informing the public about politics, campaigns and elections (Lane, 2007). Lane also said that there is a cyclical relationship between the media, government and public. The media can occasionally shape public opinion. From this reason, the political actors should be active in taking part of social media. Firman (2013) believed that social media has a strategic position to be used in political campaigns for now even the future. This is a way for politicians to get the mass as much as possible. As a big influence of social media in politics, it is because of the users who active in participating to communicate through internet (Kusumah, 2013). For instance, a successful of Obama campaign involved 5,000,000 internet users to support Obama campaign through 15 social media. Same like the phenomenon of Jokowi, it was called as political victory because of social media. The popularity of Jokowi – Ahok was boosted by attracting 15,000 internet users who mostly youths and voluntary to gather as success team in social media. There are a lot of examples which show social media being utilized as political campaign. Every political actors and political parties have own official social media accounts, just like President SBY did in last April by making twitter account then facebook account. Kusumah (2013) also writes a study about impact of social media and the result of general election 2011 in Ireland. The candidates of Irish Parliamentary who have facebook account reached 4,402 votes while they who do not have it just got 2,100 votes in average. It shows social media become a tool of campaign so that could be effective for political movement.
Another reason why social media is effective for political movement because less of money. The political campaigns that use social media will save much more funds. Social media will be cut further to 75 percents from costs of campaign and also help to avoid the swelling of campaign funds (Ika, 2013). It shows a way of social media to be effective for political movement. A low cost of money but still reach high number of people caused a huge coverage from social media. However, if a politician understands how to use social media properly, he or she might not have to spend a cent to use it as an effective campaign tool because social media is a free platform (Jakarta Post, 2013). This condition tells that not all political actors or parties able to use social media effectively in making a movement. They still need to learn how social media work and operate or threat not only as advertising their campaign, but the politicians willing to interact with people who support them. For this reason, there will be no a high cost to have campaign, so that social media could be effective for political movement.
Last but not least, social media has characteristic many to many communications to be effective for political movement. Social media are considered to be a new tool in communication terms. Cohen (2011) claimed social media has changed the way people communicate and the direction in which messages are exchanged. In many to many communications, people will be able to participate actively either passively, means that everyone can be a sender and receiver without knowing each other. No one knows a clear behavior of participants because the situation cannot be identified (IGI Global, n.d.). In addition, the model of many to many communications for social media became one of consideration to be effective in political movement. After President SBY had accounts in social media, there are many interactions which apply many to many communications. When SBY or his team posted a message, everyone in the world especially his followers will read it, whether some of readers are going to responds as feedback or not. While if people give opinion or comments for SBY, it will be same. There could be a reply from SBY either other person. A message will reach large groups of different people simultaneously or within a short period of time and it is unlimited source. The recent case of politics crisis in Egypt and Brazil had stimulated characteristic of social media which effective for political movement. Almost all citizens of Egypt asked for revolution and resignation of Morsi as president who became the first democratically elected as head of state. In Brazil, there were a big protest and demonstration against the government because of corruption. Those news are spread to a whole the world because of many to many communications from social media and be an effective for political movement.
Clearly, social media could be effective for political movement with several considerations. Those phenomena happened in over the world. The development of communication technology brings every changing over time to be more modern. One thing that make social media are effective for political movement is the power. Social media have a power to influence public which trigger a movement. The coverage is also huge to be reached. Another reason, social media are used to be a tool for campaign. It will help for political movement effectively. In this era, the political actors or parties try to involve in social media due to getting the mass’ attention and support. Moreover, a low cost of using social media also takes a role for political movement. The politicians will not need a big amount to spend for campaign if they are able to operate social media properly. In other hand, a characteristic of social media in many to may communications will affect the political movement whether it runs effective or not. When social media are able to cover all the internet users wherever they are without any limit, unconsciously people use social media will have two roles as the one who deliver a message or get a message and giving a feedback will be an optional. Perhaps, those are the possible reasons why social media being effective for political movement.
Cohen, H. (2011, Jan 8). Do You Really Know How to Communicate? Heidi Cohen. Retrieved July 18, 2013 from http://heidicohen.com/does-your-medium-match-your-marketing-message/
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