Thursday, October 24, 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama has been touted as "the social media president" and the history books will certainly mark the 2008 election as the first to be influenced by social media. Do you think that social media will continue to play an important role in the 2012 election, or is the phenomenon over-hyped?

As the 2012 election has come and gone, I hope it's alright if I write this blog post about if social media
will play an important role in future elections.

The presidential election is one of the most highly covered events in United States history, not just in 2012 but each year it is held.  Each election, politicians across the country are always looking for that edge, that one thing that will push them ahead of their counterparts. Over the last few elections, politicians have taken to social media to help give them that edge. President Obama has used social media to connect with the people of The United States of America. Whether it be posting pictures of himself shaking hands or taking photos with everyday people at a local pub, his campaign does all it can to paint him as an every day man, no matter his social status.

As successful as Obama has been with social media, some of his counterparts have not been so lucky. Some have good intentions at first, but become a public relations nightmare when they are caught in scandal. Let's take Anthony Weiner for example, in 2011 the politician accidentally posted publicly a link to a sexually suggestive photo of himself over Twitter to a woman who was following him. After originally denying the image was sent, he eventually confirmed in a press conference that it was indeed him in the photo.  Due to this unfortunate situation, Anthony Weiner was not only forced to resign from congress, but his marital status also took a big hit, understandably so.

This shows that social media can help but also destroy a campaign, and a politicians career. However, I feel as if social media will continue to be used for future campaigns, as politicians feel the rewards absolutely outweigh the risk. I believe that social media can be a blessing for politicians if they are willing to have a clean campaign and not put themselves in morally compromising situations. In this day and age, celebrity can be a dangerous thing; the more popular you become, the more people there are who try to leech on and bring you down. Do I think there will be a future president who wins an election without the aid of social media? Absolutely not.  I may be naive in saying that, but I just think we're coming into or have already entered an era where social media is thriving, and I just can't see it ending.

Some think the social media phenomenon is over hyped, and I politely disagree. It's not overhyped, it's been given the credit which it deserves. It's a great means of communication which helps in different fields, whether it be entertainment or politics, it's beneficial to everyone.