Survey Overview

Basic Demographics

There were a few basic questions students needed to complete before continuing with the survey.  According to the survey results, approximately 43% of students who filled out our survey were seniors. About 61% of all of the students who completed the surveys were females, and 84% of the students were white.

Our Thoughts and Expectations

The Global SMAC predicted that the majority of students would feel that they are more involved in politics because of social media.  However, the SMAC also saw the opportunity for students to convince themselves that they were in fact being engaged in politics while never leaving their house to act on their statements online.  We predicted that their support would mostly be passive; joining groups posting and re posting online saying they are active but in the end never pulling the trigger and voting in the election. Before the survey we stated that students would agree that social media is used for networking and communicating, but would admit that they have received news through it and do belong to social and political groups

The Raw Data

We had asked students a few questions on social media and citizenship and democracy. The first question was: “ How frequently are you on social media sites?”  48.3% of students reported they were on these sites 0-2 hours a day.

When asked which source of information they go to, 53.2% of students stated that they receive information about politics from the television, whereas 52% percent of students receive this information from online news sites.   32.7% rarely use Facebook to get any information about politics, and 65% of students never use Twitter to get his information.

The third question was a statement : “I use social media to actively voice my opinions about things going on in the world…”  42.4% stated they “somewhat agree”, while 15.6% stated they “strongly agree”, and 17.8% percent stated they “strongly disagree.”

The fourth question was whether or not students belong to a political group, news group, or fan page on Facebook.  The answer?  63.7% of students stated they do not use Facebook for that, but 8.8% belong to a bunch of them.  The last question, “Did you vote in the 2008 presidential election?” 59.1% of students reported “yes”.


The results from the questions both debunked and backed up our predictions. The question asking where students get their information from came as a surprise. The majority of students get political news from the television networks as apposed to online sources, including social media. This question falls in line with the data received from the question regarding how many hours students spend on social media. However, The Global SMAC believes the data obtained from the questions might not be an accurate picture of reality due a negative social stigma attached to information being obtained from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, causing people to choose to answer that they obtain the majority of their information from TV, which has long since been established by society as a reliable medium.

Lastly, the results of how many students actually voted in the election is not surprising. While the most students use social media to voice their opinions and ideas about what should be done in their nation/state only a small majority of people actually acted and voted in the presidential election.

Drawn on research done outside the survey it was found that only 10% of students asked actually voted in the midterm elections, while the majority of the participants knew of the obscure candidates that received less than 5% of the popular vote, because of the amount of attention they received via social media sites like Youtube and Facebook.

In all the data creates a picture of current trends in society regarding social media as a viable news assembly service. People have agreed that they have followed links to news from social media sites, and were brought to major media outlets like CNN and FOX News. Our prediction for the future; social media will become part of people’s routine to gather information. It will be a hosting site that will be the gateway to information.

By: Asra Arif & Eric Ivanov


Our Team

Six young minds came together to create a force that is taking over the convergence of social media and citizenship! Continue reading to learn more about this team that created new ways for citizens like you to participate in democracy via social media!

Asra Arif

Being a junior here, I am finally figuring out the pieces to my puzzle, and know that I want to study broadcast journalism.  I haven’t always been interested in writing and public speaking, music was my passion a few years ago.  I played the violin for ten years, and that is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  Speaking of music, I love all kinds of music!  House, electronica, hip hop, pop, R&B, and more!  As I discovered myself, I realized I love to entertain and be a social butterfly.  Born in Queens, raised on Long Island, i love to draw, dance, sing, and go out with my friends.  I danced for many years (hip hop, indian fusion, belly dancing, and jazz are some of my favorites!)  When I am not out, I love to catch up on some reading and my shows (Trueblood, Vampire Diaries, Entourage, E! channel), going to the big apple, working out (love pilates), shopping, trying new foods at different restaurants, driving while blasting music in my car, and going to starbucks(pumpkin spice latte is back :))

Here a few sites that would describe me best: & (I am pretty much obsessed)


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Eric Ivanov

Me and Obama?
I could start off and tell you that I discovered that whales actually lived on land at the beginning of time…according to Wikipedia and a few other sites that’s what I am notable for… if you believe it, well, its time to rethink how you use the internet.

My name is Eric…as you should have seen above. I am a senior with a duel major in Broadcast Journalism and History. I didn’t feel like posting my entire resume, so make do with that.

The picture above looks to be me and Obama, everything seems normal about it, the shading the squinting, and even the head placement…enough to convince you that its real anyway. In fact its a fake, I photo-shopped my

head onto a picture my roommate took and I slapped it on Facebook as a joke. It fooled plenty of people. Its easy to edit your life and on the internet and eventually produce an entirely made up persona.

The Original

What is social media good for?

1. Giving people a platform to be chauvinistic, and not even confronting things that are different.

2. Making people feel like they are connected to people/friends, when all they really have is an empty cyber relationship.

3. Makes avoiding talking to people easier.

4. Letting people edit their lives…I’ve done it and I’m not ashamed.

5. Lets people express the views and feeling to thousands of people who really don’t care.

Is there anything social about social media?

I actually don’t think so. I don’t go online and talk to people and call it socializing. Society calls people who stay in their rooms and play community games, use Facebook, blogs, and just spend all of their time on the internet….ANTISOCIAL! The internet has made us less social and more reliant on a computer interface for communication.

With that being said, why do I participate in it?

I really don’t have a clue. I have a Facebook, a Youtube page, a twitter (which I only have because of our teacher), an AIM account, and Skype (but I feel like that is actually a telephone).

One of my career goals in life is to help successfully regulate the Internet and bring order to its chaos.

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Lauren Loverde

Hi everyone, my name is Lauren Loverde. I’m a Senior Public Relations major and social media takes up a large part of my life! I was first introduced to social media in high school, but now a lot of the social media I know about it is part of my major. Basically, a large part of Public Relations involves understanding social media and being able to use its capabilities for your clients.

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Blogs, you name it I probably have an account. I’m really excited about taking this class because I want to know why this assignment stressed me out so much and why the answer to my stress was to go on Twitter. I want to know why social media is always the answer to my stress.

I think social media is a very interesting phenomenon. It amazes me, how much power social media can have over a person’s daily life. I could spend hours on Facebook and Twitter doing absolutely nothing. I just keep refreshing my profile page thinking that eventually there will be some new, fascinating information for me to comment on.

My take on social media is that it is a great way for people to share all sorts of information with the world. A social media account allows friends to stay connected and old friends to re-connect. I think it’s really cool how “universal” social media is and how I could talk to people all over the world about one single topic.

So, why do I participate in social media you ask? My answer is this…why wouldn’t I participate in social media? It’s awesome! It’s an easy way to procrastinate, don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. We all do it. The best way to avoid doing homework is to spend hours on Facebook.

Here is my absolute favorite video on YouTube:

The AMAZING Charlie Bit Me!

These are some of the websites that I visit far too often:

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Kimberley Cervone

Hello fellow classmates,
So, as you can tell my name is Kimberley Cervone, I’m a senior for the second time here at Hofstra because i have changed my major about 47 times. If Hofstra doesn’t screw me over, I will be graduating and out of here in December.  I was born and raised in Long Island, and will never ever leave it. I have two sisters and four brothers, and live with two of them. I find that through social media, i communicate with the other four the most through Facebook. My favorite color is green, and i love Italian anything and everything. I find myself always listening to music, and i love driving around.

I am pretty much a blank canvas when it comes to the computer and most of its social media, besides Facebook. Which is bizarre because i am a PR major. So when being asked to make this social page and state how it affects us. i guess my only response can be Facebook. I wish i could add Twitter, which i do have one but i totally and completely don’t understand it and don’t use it. I am always checking my e-mails, blackberry messenger and Facebook- considering i always have my phone on me, if i didn’t get it directly to my phone, I most likely wouldn’t check as much. i should proberbly admit that my guilty please is constantly checking social gossip as well as entertainment gossip. I have a high school crush on Perez Hilton. Hope i didn’t bore you all to death with my info and lack of social medi expierece. 🙂

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Brian Molinari

Hey everyone, my name is Brian Molinari, in case you missed the heading at the top of this page. I’ll be graduating in December and my major is TV/Video; when your life revolves around media its as if media revolves around you. I create media, enjoy media, and consume mass quantities of this stuff we call media.
I hate to admit it but I do spend a good amount of time on social media sites, Facebook and twitter make up most of that but when I’m trying to feel productive I’ll put some hours in on LinkedIn, Tumblr, or kill time with StumbleUpon. I never wanted to be the kid who is in into every new thing that drops into the world of media but I can’t help it! I love the fact that the web is taking over TV and I’m happy to get into that on the ground level. I think it is important to involve every aspect of media, putting them together and combining different types of media can bring new people together, spread knowledge, and most importantly create a better understanding of what media really is.
My media identity is somewhat blurry. Who really wants to define themselves and set limits and boundaries?? I enjoy being a productive part of “media”. I usually wont be without my phone, keeping me in-touch with twitter, FaceSpace, and any Skype friends, so I can check out the latest viral on YouTube and mindlessly send it to more people. Music and Video are a huge part of my life and so I have no choice but to dive into the deep end of this media stuff. I have no problem being on the cutting edge of whats going on and thats why I support the web-TV community as much as I can. HTVi here at Hofstra is an awesome interactive media site and I hope to help that out even more. Web-TV started to get bigger in the past two years and I jumped at the oppurtunity, so If you get a chance check out the content on that site. Also I help out on another web-TV project called Subway Sessions, its born and bred Hofstra-style. This brings musicians from the underground (literally) right onto a convenient webpage and lets you discover, interact with, and become fans of new and emerging musicians. If you get a few seconds check out

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Dani Newman


Hello, my name is Dani. I’m taking this class because I want to understand why it took my three and a half hours to complete this assignment. It’s frightening to me that I am preparing to graduate from a school that teaches communication, yet when I try to focus on the “school” part the communication interferes. How could I resist though? With Facebook Plug Ins all over my favorite websites and email notifications sent to the mobile device that never leaves my sight? Here’s my stance, I don’t think technology is necessarily a bad thing, and I won’t go all Nicholas Carr on you (yes, I just started that terribly scary book) and say that it is literally controlling me, I just want to know what it feels like to be qualified for an entry level job in a field that I love and respect, because lets face it, you can’t be an unpaid intern forever.I run a website with a couple of good friends called We showcase the work of students that make a damn good entertaining point about something or other. (Get ready, this is a plug): If you have an interest in hosting content, whether it’s a video, a blog, or an event that you would like to broadcast, come and talk to me, or just email, facebook, call, text message or tweet at me. I felt like it was ok to warn you about the plug thing, after all, the internet warns us before it spams us with a thirty second commercial in between our favorite episode of The Office.

I’ll follow Eric’s lead with this format for a hot second:

Social Media is good for:

1.     Sharing new websites, music, research, news, photos…you all have a facebook you know what I’m talking about.

2.     Seeing that your mom commented on your photo from her Mobile Device while she is sitting right next to you.  Thanks mom.

3.     Making services that you once had to pay for free. (Ex. Google Talk: Telephone Calls. Surfthechannel: Television).

4.     Sharing stranger’s drunk texts and horribly embarrassing stories that ruined their lives so that your friends can laugh at them.

5.     Competing in fake contests to be a beta tester or a winner for more and more and more electronic devices.

So why do I participate?

What type of media student would I be if I didn’t contribute to my own Internet addiction.

Here are two videos that I enjoy:,17470/

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Vote for @BarackObama!

By: Kimberly Cervone

It has been noted by hundreds of observers that President Barack Obama has an impeccable presence on the Internet, through social media. The role of social media and the Internet played a huge role in Obama’s success during the presidential campaign, post-inauguration and still today. “Obama decided that he wants to make social media tools a permanent part of his political strategy.” [1] Obama’s promise to the people was to be an easily accessible president through social media. His image and ideas were all over Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and the blogosphere.

Barack Obama joined Twitter in April 2007 prior to the election. During the campaign there was an abundance of Twitter use by Obama, he updated his account at least once a day with news, information and videos.  Soon after his inauguration the @BarackObama account seemed to be less of a priority and the @WhiteHouse account became the main focus. The Obama Team tweets constantly from this account.


Obama’s usage of Facebook and MySpace during the campaign was to reach out to Obama’s social media followers. “Barack Obama has made history with his Facebook/MySpace usage.”[2] Since MySpace has slowly become less used as a site in general. His Facebook updates are still flowing with newsfeeds, videos, links, and pictures. Barack Obama is the number one most “liked” page on Facebook. Obama’s inauguration was posted on Facebook, and was viewed by millions of people.

During the campaign Obama used YouTube to add touching stories and to give people a look at his personal life behind the scenes. These efforts were beneficial because they were both personal and very active. Although Obama does still use his personal account, most of the posts come from the user The White House Channel. Practically, every day a new video is posted, whether it is his weekly video addresses, live video press conferences and town halls. These are much more effective as easily accessible visuals, then a simple radio address. These videos have certainly increased his social media press conference.

During the 2008 Presidential Campaign, both candidates had a strong blogging presence. Post-inauguration, Obama worked from two primary blogs Organizing for America Blog, and The White House Blog. The Barack Obama Team frequently updates both of these blogs. However, it has been discussed on numerous sites that the people see a personal post from Obama himself every now and then, rather then his team.

Barack Obama’s use of social media has been phenomenal.  He started with a strong online presence, and his image continues to flourish. With the help of his team, Obama will be remembered for his great quantity of social media use.



Ostrow, Adam. “How Will President Obama Use His Massive Social Media Influence?” Social Media News and Web Tips – Mashable – The Social Media Guide. Web. 11 Nov. 2010. <;.

Parr, Ben. “Obama: Does He Pass the Social Media Test?” Social Media News and Web Tips – Mashable – The Social Media Guide. Web. 10 Nov. 2010. <;.





Want more GlobalSMAC?

Join the conversation today by following us on Twitter, @GlobalSMAC


SMAC Interactive


The Global SMAC explores our media habits. The video looks at humanities media habits from cave men to the Internet age. It can get a bit overwhelming listening and watching the video….but isn’t that point.


The Global SMAC hits the pavement to ask people about their knowledge of politics…that’s right you heard us right, we actually talked to people….in real life. What we found out might be disturbing to some.


The future is a scary place or at least it would be if our predictions came true. Before the video read our predictions below….you just might want to die now before this comes true.

In the year 2000…

–          The Presidential election of 2008 for the United States cost a combined total of $5.3 billion.

–          The LA Times recognizes Facebook as a viable advertising venue for local businesses.

–          Social Media is used by political campaigns to raise support for their candidate. It is largely a success.

–          Twitter is recognized by Starbucks patrons as something useful for civic engagement.

In the year 2010…

–          Facebook reaches 500 million users

–          Political campaigns look towards Social Media to build a grass roots campaign.

In the year 2012…

–          Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected to the United States Senate, largely in part to his superstar image created by a grass roots movement from Social Media outlets.

–          The Goldstein-Schwarzenegger Act of 2012 makes it possible for anyone of legal age to run for President of  the United States.

In the year 2020…

–          Google and Amazon merge creating Googazon.

–          To combat Googazon’s takeover of the advertising market, Facebook, Twitter and Apple create the Apple Universal.

–          Apple Universal creates Twitface by combining Twitter with Facebook.

–          Microsoft buys Youtube  for $70 billion.

In the Year 2030…

–          Microsoft develops a holographic communicator, making traditional phones and computers obsolete.

–          Microsoft successfully develops microchip implant that enables information to be accessed only by thinking.

–          Googazon becomes the undisputed tool used on the Internet for information.

–          Googazon and Microsoft develop Consumer Tracker, which makes decisions for people based on their actions.

–          The executive board of Apple Universal is appointed as the Intercommunications Chiefs of the FCC.

In the year 2040…

–          Microsoft reanimates Bill Gates’ personality in Apple Universal’s iBot.

–          The Bill Gates iBot runs for President, The Supreme Court upholds his right to run.

–          Lifebook is created. It aggregates all information about the user, including purchases, thoughts, and important decisions into one space.

–          McDonalds uses Lifebook to track customer’s purchases and suggest meal combinations for them.

–          Apple Universal launches a news branch based off of status updates and remarks coming from Twitface. It quickly becomes popular with Starbucks patrons.

In the year 2050…

–          The traditional medium of television has become extinct; the Internet is now the main provider of entertainment and information.

–          The iBot 5 Bill Gates wins a third Presidential term. The campaign cost is only $500 million.

–          Fox News and MSNBC form MS Fox, with all content being produced by anyone across the globe and compiled by only 100 employees.

–          CNN and ABC no longer exist, leaving MS Fox being the last of the news organizations.

In the year 2060…

–          Lifebook is bought by Googazon for $1.5 trillion.

–          The North American Federation is formed and mandates that all citizens be registered with Lifebook.

–          Googazon partners with McDonalds and Burger King to develop better customer service.

–          Voting for government officials becomes available only through Googazon accounts.

–          The Supreme Court of the NAF allows corporations to run for office.

–          Apple Universal is the first corporation to run for President. Apple Universal is defeated at the polls.

In the year 2070…

–          A record of 1,456 candidates run for President. The typical campaign only cost $10 million.

–          95% of the population votes in the elections, citing Googazon’s easy to use format and helpful reviews on candidates.

In the year 2080…

–          The General of Electric wins the Presidency in a landslide.

–          Campaigning is only done through Googazon and Apple Universal. Federal laws mandate that a candidate must have more than 5,000 reviews from a state to appear on the ballot.

–          MS Fox partners with Googazon to shut out Apple Universal from the news market. The Supreme Court rules that MS Fox and Googazon’s partnership constitutes a monopoly and is blocked.

–          Media is no longer divided up into categories like radio, television, and internet, but is now referred to as The Connection.

In the year 2090…

–          The average campaign cost only $100,000 due to the elimination of separate mediums on information.

–          Voting is done for you, based on your decisions, profile, and purchases, through Googazon’s Consumer Tracker.

–          It is common place for corporations to use their mascots as candidates for public office.

In the year 2100…

–          Burger King runs for president. The slogan “A Wopper for you, is a vote for me!” is used.

–          Mayor McCheese of McDonalds announces his bid for the presidency.

–          Record Burger sales are seen through Googazon’s Consumer Tracker.

–          The Supreme Court rules that it is cruel and unusual punishment to sever convict’s link with The Connection for the length of their sentence.

Tools To Be A Better Citizen

Want to be a better citizen?

Citizenship is part of democracy, with the world at our fingertips we have no excuse to stand by idly waiting for decisions to be made for us. The links below will help you sift through information and help you better navigate the media.

Follow the links to your freedom…

  • Find the News – The daily beast is a news source that you might have never seen before, its one of those hipster sites.
  • Know your government – This is a small time site that lets you read up on some issues and topics that are being debated right now. Good place to start, but be sure to check other places.
  • Understand the law – You can see the latest updates coming out of your government. Its a good way to keep tabs on them if you can handle reading the legal documents that are put out by the site.
  • Watch your media – This is just a site that lets you look at some trendy topics in social media, or get some interesting tips on how to be a savvy internet user.
  • Follow the SMAC – It is what it is. We have a Twitter
  • Watch for the SMAC – What kind of social media team would we be if we didn’t have any Youtube videos?
  • Get information from the House – The official word, useful, but don’t think this is the truth…it might not be, ever hear of Roswell?
  • Dissent from within the Twittersphere – The Iran twitter revolution was bad or good…this guy has mixed feelings.
  • Keep an eye on the fat cats – Careful here, but this can be a pretty useful site to find out some thing you didn’t know about, be sure to tweet it and keep your friends informed too.
  • The transformation – This is a book..We know its a little ridiculous to use something printed talking about the power of communities in an online space….nonetheless its quality.
  • The Social Sphere – It is a blog and that’s part of social media. This ones talks about the effectiveness of communities, the ideas they produce, and how they are turned into action.
  • Politics and Technology – Does technology like the Internet have any influence over politics?
  • Mashable – Social media can cause a wind to blow in the direction of politics.
  • Social Stats – I wouldn’t say this is a very educational site, but that doesn’t take away from the thing that are said.
  • Face News – ABC teamed up with Facebook for the midterm elections.
  • Project Virginia – Where Politics meets social media
  • The social media snapshot – A snapshot of the 2010 elections from a social media standpoint. A bit more serious than Social Stats above.
  • Prizes – How McCain planed to win the election…I guess he was too old to operate that sort of technology.
  • Mashing is good – 2 million tweets, did it do anything?
  • The infallible BBC – Iran and BBC, Why so hostile to each other?
  • Tweet of Freedom – Ask not what Twitter can do for you, Ask what you can do for the Twitter. Twitter: it did stuff for Iran.

Eric Ivanov

Giving You A SMAC Into The Future

This is the Global SMAC! We’re working to bring you into the future of Social Media And Citizenship.

The Global SMAC has the noble goal to slice through the noise and find out just how social media has pushed us in a new direction of participation in democracy and the community. You may think social media just includes Facebook and Twitter, but you’d be wrong. Social media is everything we know and love today. It is everything from Youtube, Twitter and Facebook, to Digg, iReport and Storify. The crown for some of the most savvy usage of social media must go to Barack Obama….although Her Majesty The Queen of England did just got a Facebook.

Global SMAC’s Mission: To research, delineate, and report the information about how social media and the Internet have shaped our opinions, perceptions, and attitude on politics and community involvement.

Citizenship and democracy go hand in hand, but our view of them is being altered because of digital mediums like the Internet, specifically social media. For politicians the question is no longer, How many people can I get to my rally? It has become, How many follows can I get on Twitter? How can I spread my message to places without spending millions of dollars in TV adds? Democracy relies on the participation of its citizens to function properly. The idea of democracy has not changed, we have.

Our ideas of participation have morphed into something very different than what our founding fathers could have ever conceived. The majority of Americans have moved off of the street corner and onto the web in an attempt to support their candidates. Global SMAC will explore the reasons for this shift in participation, and how it is changing American politics.

Do we now choose our leaders based on how many people create movies and remixes of them on Youtube? Has Twitter become the “winning” factor in political campaigns? Whatever the answer it really doesn’t change the fact that social media has become a driving force behind people’s decisions regarding politics, and how the country should be run.

This “revolution” is not just in the United States, but all over the globe. More and more people are chiming in on everything dealing with Western policies, and political regimes in countries like Iran. Examples of how social media has influenced participation in world events and local ones alike are explored by our researchers. From simple case studies a clear reason for how Twitter working in the “Iranian Revolution” or how much weight Youtube had during the elections in the United States between McCain and Obama.

The data found from the research conducted by Global SMAC will either support or overthrow the ideas that have been put forth by many people. Some questions that will be answered are as follows:

1. Has social media made the public apathetic about politics and democracy?

2. Are Social network sites contributing to the conversation or masking the true problems in society?

3. Has voting been affected by social media (have more people voted because they felt empowered by social media)?

4. Do people know more information about politics and the candidates, or have they become politically polarized?

5. Has social media given people a false sense of understanding about politics and issues around the globe?

Citizenship is part of democracy, but Global SMAC is treating it as a separate entity, focusing on the individual rather than the collective outcome of whole. A simple example is a blog, or a personal web page. The internet has allowed people to develop their own personalities online, and project their voice beyond the town square and into the global conversation.

Global SMAC will explore if one person’s thoughts actually have an affect on what others do an say. Is the social media they use an effective way to deliver their message to the public, or does their voice get cut down by bigger voices like major news networks?

It is through the use of social media that many people in today’s society have been able to “voice” their opinions. Major criticisms about that often cite that almost no internet traffic goes to the majority of the public blogs. Even if that were true, does it matter? Should the value of being a citizen be measured in the amount of popularity that you have? The Global SMAC says no. Everyone has a voice, and everyone should be able to tell their story.

Global SMAC is dedicated to delivering accurate up-to-date information that is relevant to everyone living in the digital age. To learn more follow us on Twitter, or subscribe to our channel on Youtube.

The Global SMAC

~Know Your Media

The Online World

Eric Ivanov