Teaching Activity: Incorporating the Social Media App for Civic Engagement


Communication studies programs in the United States are becoming more and more marketable to the workplace as students are educated in rhetoric, interpersonal or intercultural communication, or public affairs. With the recent growth in social media usage, individuals are more than likely to connect with friends and professionals via social networking and should be prepared to communicate messages for both facets effectively. In addition to the need for education for preparation for the workplace, something to consider when considering implementing the pedagogy of social media is how the young adults of the current generation are leaming and how using social media fits into these learning styles. For instance, when reflecting upon Albert Bandura's research on Social Learning Theory, which concentrates on imitating and modeling the behavior of others, it is reasonable to point out the expansion from past generations to the current with social media. In other words, the current generation has more content to model behavior after the availability of social media. Thus, because the current generation has had more exposure to different contents to model after in the social learning theory, perhaps using various teaching styles, including social media, might allow for efficient learning (Deaton,2015). Before examining other arenas of why social media instruction in the communication setting is needed, it is essential to understand the growth and use of social media. Who is on social media? According to Pew Research, 93% of American teens (ages 12-17), 93% of young adults (ages 18-29), 81 % of adults (30-49), 70% of older adults (ages 50-64), and 38% of adults 65 and older (Lenhart,et al. 2010). Although this research was conducted in 2010, it is clear that social media usage is widely used amongst individuals who are either being educated or are likely to be in the workforce, except for the minority of senior citizens still in the workforce. Despite social media being mainly used for private use, networking and private use can be viewed on most mediums of Internet communication, and thus, users should be aware of who is viewing and interpreting their information. Therefore, communication studies programs, which typically equip students with the right tools to effectively prepare a message for a specific audience, could potentially implement pedagogy to prepare students for social media audiences.


© 2022 Texas Speech Communication Association


Social Media, Civic Engagement, Communication Studies


Arias, V. S., Punyanunt-Carter, N.M., & Martinez, R. J. (2022). Incorporating the Social Media App for Civil Engagement. Texas Speech Communication Journal, 46, 80-82.