Social media & politics

I’ve been invited to participate in a roundtable discussion about the role social media should play in politics. The session is hosted by South Carolina congressman Bob Inglis (here’s his twitter stream).

The roundtable was inspired by the recent press coverage such as this:

“Audiences usually treat presidents to a round of polite applause, but when President Obama addressed House Republicans on Tuesday, they started Twittering.” (read entire article)

I know where I stand, but, in the spirit of social media, I was wondering if I can be your voice at this roundtable. Do you have any thoughts, ideas, wishes, requests, or advice that I can convey on your behalf?

Do you want your congressmen and senators on Twitter? How would you like them to use or not use Twitter?

How about other social media?

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3 responses to “Social media & politics”

  1. Caitlin Greeley says :

    I agree with Lauren that politicians shouldn’t use Twitter if they aren’t leaving the tweets themselves. I’m afraid that the use of Twitter and other social media outlets by political figures will eventually become the responsibility of their interns. I could see, especially in reference to politicians in very high positions, tweets becoming impersonal and just being used for self-promotion rather than contributing to “the conversation”. It will be interesting to see how different politicians take to using social media.

  2. Lauren Gaulin says :

    I think it would be very beneficial for political officials to become more proactive on social media sites, particularly Twitter.

    As a college student I know I don’t have time to watch the news every night, watch press conferences on TV, or read the newspaper everyday. If politicians were on Twitter it would give them the opportunity to post short 140 character explanations that don’t take 20 minutes to read or 30 minutes to watch. I also think it’d be smart for politicians to post on Twitter because Twitter is starting to attract more of the “college generation” which is quickly becoming the future of America. Politicians Twitter would not only educate this generation about politics, but also spark a real interest in the political world.

    They could post their platform when campaigning, or their thoughts and opinions on controversial issues, or their take on certain political issues. It would also be cool if they posted their personal thoughts on everyday things as well. This would allow fellow Tweeps to learn more about them as a real person, rather than a political figure. Often times politicians overshadow their real personalities with their political personality, which I believe are 2 different things, but we’ll save that convo for a rainy day…

    The only time a politician shouldn’t post on Twitter is if it’s not really them. If I’m following a political figure I want that person to be the one tweeting. If not, then it’s not as real, and defeats the purpose to some extent.

    Good luck with the round table Dr. V 🙂

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