In the 21st century, there is no denying the profound transformation that social media platforms have brought to the dissemination and consumption of news, consequently shaping modern-day politics. Social media, with its expansive reach and interactive nature, has undeniably reshaped political discourse and brought a sea change in the way we understand, analyze, and participate in politics.

One of the most seismic impacts of social media on modern politics is its democratizing effect on political engagement. Traditional media, like television and newspapers, have always had a ‘top-down’ flow, delivering political news to passive consumers. In contrast, social media enables two-way and multi-directional conversations, creating not just consumers of political news but also active contributors. It offers everyday citizens a platform to voice their opinions, partake in online debates and align themselves with like-minded individuals or groups that share the same political views.

However, while social media has the potential to enhance political engagement and broaden the democratic process, it also poses a risk. The vast expanse of social media and the absence of stringent oversight mechanisms make it a fertile ground for misinformation, ‘fake news,’ and outright propaganda. False political narratives and conspiracy theories can proliferize rapidly on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, potentially swaying public opinion and undermining trust in political institutions.

Further, social media enables a rapid, real-time and often reactionary style of political communication, which can lead to the polarization of public sentiment. Emotional or sensationalist political posts can quickly go viral, driving wedges between different groups and exacerbating societal divisions. It’s also worth noting that algorithms employed by social media platforms, designed to tailor content to user preferences, can further cement echo chambers and create a ‘filter bubble’ of homogeneous political beliefs.

The influence of social media on politics also extends to political campaigns and elections. Today’s political candidates leverage social media platforms to not only disseminate campaign messages but also to personalize and humanize their image. The conversational nature of social media removes the formal barrier that traditional media imposes, hence allowing politicians to connect with the electorate on a seemingly personal level. Nevertheless, such easy access to politicians can also blur the lines between personal behaviors and political competence, deviating public focus from policy and governance issues.

In conclusion, the relationship between social media and modern-day politics is complex and multifaceted. Social media has unquestionably democratized political discourse by granting agency to individuals. However, it also stands as a breeding ground for misinformation, an accelerator of polarization, and a game-changer for political communication. As evidenced, the impacts of social media on politics are profound and far-reaching, and while they present both opportunities and challenges, they are fundamentally altering the way politics is conducted in the digital age. Navigating these changes calls for an informed and digitally literate citizenry and robust institutional mechanisms to contain its potential perils.