Thanks to social media, we are now more connected to our politicians than ever before. Using social platforms like Twitter, politicians have been able to talk directly to the public about important issues and their stances on them, without waiting for mainstream media to carry their message for them. Politicians, like President Donald Trump are setting their own agendas through Twitter. President Trump has even come out and acknowledged that social media is a powerful tool for agenda-setting.
The Fake News Media hates when I use what has turned out to be my very powerful Social Media – over 100 million people! I can go around them
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017
However, with great power comes great responsibility. So, when using social media, like Twitter to promote ideas or comment on world events, politicians need to be mindful of their influence because, according to the Agenda-Setting Function of Mass Media, their use of social media may not be telling people exactly what to think, but it is telling people what to think about.
Let me remind you of a little tweet from our President that nearly broke the Internet, all over a simple, misspelled word.
Who can figure out the true meaning of "covfefe" ??? Enjoy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2017
#Covfefe. The word that sparked several parody accounts, a couple funny memes, and had every news outlet talking about its meaning. President Trump’s #covfefe moment highlights not only the ability of politicians to set an agenda but how closely the world pays attention to said agenda. There were definitely more important things going on in the world than #covfefe.
My advice to politicians? Learn from #covfefe and think before you tweet (or at the very least check your spelling before tweeting something to your millions of followers).