It is without doubt that social media played a major role in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
And with the new administration, social media’s presence in our democracy is anything but on the decline. Twitter seems to be one of President Trump’s favorite ways to communicate to the public… whether it be political or publicity.
It is a disgrace that my full Cabinet is still not in place, the longest such delay in the history of our country. Obstruction by Democrats!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2017
And now other elected officials seem to also seem to be taking to Twitter more so than ever, to communicate with voters. Everyone from Senator Chuck Schumer to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan are heading to Twitter to reaffirm supporters and attack political opponents.
While it may seem ideal that elected officials can have such quick and direct communication with the public, it can also hurt the unity of our country.
Yes, we look to elected officials for political support. But we also look to them for hope…hope that our country is still united in a way we do not see in our every day encounters. Social media offers us a peak in our the workings and demeanor of our government that has not always been available. I think elected officials need to recognize the power they hold in their online words and set precedent for the nation. If they attack each other, that will trickle down to people attacking each other too. Elected officials need to set examples and tweet with caution.