Social media has become one of the leading ways that people communicate their views on political events and positions.
This is true for everyone from the average taxpayer to the president of the United States. With instantaneous communication becoming more and more pervasive as technology continues to improve it is important to take a look at the avenues that those in powerful positions are using to promote their agenda.
Politicians are using social media more than ever to help advance the causes they support and here are some of the things you should be looking out for when browsing Twitter or Facebook these days.
Shutdown Was Evident on Social Media
In light of the recent government shutdown due to a lack of ability to communicate effectively in a bipartisan manner it is extremely interesting to look at how the different political players are spinning the event.
Both sides of the political spectrum are using social media in order to help voters, both sympathetic and opponents, understand their stance on the proceedings happening in congress. Never before have citizens had this direct of a window into the agenda of the people they have voted into office.
On Twitter politicians involved in the debt ceiling debate are mostly providing sound bites from recent speeches and debates which are supportive of their side of the argument. This is interesting for voters because they are able to see the differing stances not only between Democrats and republicans, but between individual members of each party.
Whether or not a party presents a united front on an issue can be just as telling as the actual statements that are being put out by the politicians involved.
Obama No Stranger to Social Media
President Obama has been known for his use of social media from the outset of his initial campaign for the presidency.
Many have argued that it was his efforts to connect with young voters and other minority groups on social media that helped him secure his initial election victory. He and his staff often post on his Twitter account – @BarackObama, up to 6 times per day, in order to stay in communication with the citizens that he is representing.
He has recently used his social media accounts to post an embarrassing video of an opponent of his position on climate change.
It is also very common to see quotes and other sound bites from his recent speeches posted to Twitter for those who were unable to view the entire speech but are interested in what the general content was.
This effort to maximize the effectiveness of communication via social media has help paint him as one of the more personal presidents who has held the office in the recent past.
Opposition Gets Social Too
On the other side of the aisle we can take a look at Speaker of the House John Boehner’s social media activity to understand better how the Republican Party is utilizing this method of communication.
Recent activity on Speaker Boehner’s Twitter account – @johnboehner, shows that he uses the media outlet to let the public know of upcoming speaking events and times when he will be interacting with the voters directly.
He also lets Republican supporters know when legislation has been passed through the house or Senate which is considered a victory for more conservative voters. This can be shown as an attempt to unify his Republican base behind the efforts that the party is putting forward on the legislative front.
Congress Has a Social Voice
Members of Congress from both parties are also active in an effort to both connect with the voters who allowed them to take office and show the fruits of their labors in the legislative battles they are waging.
It is important to take into account the affiliation of a member of Congress when viewing their social media activity in order to see the activity through a proper lens.
When it comes to a truly contentious cause, such as the government shutdown related to raising the debt ceiling, it can be helpful to have more information from both sides of the aisle in order to better understand the gravity of the issues at hand.