New Media and Political Optimism: The Importance of Connections
Watching politicians text, post and share their positions online is baffling, especially considering that most of them are older than our grandparents, or around the same age. As a politician, who you are and what you stand for is a brand, and once you understand the way the online discussion format lends itself to advertising, it becomes easier.
Most of us who have grown up with technology still feel a little strange when our grandparents ask us how to use social media sites. Not that they shouldn't…it's just that what has come so intuitively for us since we were young becomes so difficult to explain in step-by-step terms. This very subject matter has become a source of humor for many members of these tech-saturated generations, including myself. However, what remains even more baffling is watching politicians text, post and share their positions online, especially considering that most of them are older than our grandparents, or around the same age. The amount of baffling beginner mistakes - like all of the men who have been caught sending non-encrypted love letters to the people they are cheating with, making it really easy for even the most casually snooping journalists to bust them - are incredible. It does seem that things are leveling out now. After all, as a politician, who you are and what you stand for is a brand, and once you understand the way the online discussion format lends itself to advertising, it becomes easier.
This new form of social discussion that is bridging the distance between average people and those who enjoy some measure of riches and fame is beginning to change the way we think about one another, and our interpersonal relationships. Unfortunately, one of the main issues we face as a society is this idea that celebrities and politicians are so far removed from us, and we have a hard time thinking of them as people. Part of what makes the creativity of interactive discussions and real time commentary with these types of figures so successful, is that they allow us to talk to them on a more personal and intimate level. This particularly affects the way that we see one another. Once we understand where the person we are talking to or reading about comes from, we can start getting a more accurate and truthful reading of a situation - one that is not compromised by the bias that the rich and famous, politicians and celebrities, are totally inhuman, and we can't relate to them.
This is why open forums are so integral to us progressing socially. These kinds of sites are linking us together in new and increasingly complex ways, giving us an opportunity to have real discourse about our differences, while recognizing what makes us all the same. Social media has an incredible potential for bringing out our humanity, and reminding us of the way we all connect while pushing us to continue reaching out to one another. Considering the abysmal state of political optimism these days, it's something we need.
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This article was published on 02 May 2014 and has been viewed 0 times