Politics in 140c: The Shifting Tide of Social Influence

Posted on April 26, 2016 by

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Birds of a feather flock together, it’s true. Unless they decide their flock is taking them in the wrong direction. How’s a bird in this day and age to decide?

Social Media can drive subtle changes in our thinking and behavior. Is there a shift in how our social decisions are influenced?

Social Media can drive subtle changes in our thinking and behavior. Is there a shift in how our social decisions are influenced?

Our 3-part monthly #socialchange series on Politics enters the Twitter stream just at the U.S. presidential race is heating up. The debates have been going on for months now, and no surprise the tweets are quite literally flying. Some, predictably, are cynical and inflammatory. Others are quite a bit more insightful, to the point of being educational.

What longer-term impact might Social Media have on Politics?

A recent Politico article by Nicholas Carr raised several excellent points on how Social Media is influencing Politics, for better and for worse. Take the time, it’s great background for both this chat and the series.

When I read it, several things jumped out that deserve amplification and discussion, in the context of social change. How does Social Media play role? Let’s tee up the following questions to get the series started.

  • Q1. Radio gave candidates a voice in the 1920s, TV gave them an image in the 1960s. What does #socialmedia give the politican? #politics
  • Q2. #Socialmedia gets knocked for sound bites, attacks and noise, enabling the ‘dark side’ of #politics. Is there an ‘upside’?
  • Q3. How do we respond to critics of the 140c limitation? 
  • Q4. Politics has long lacked voter/citizen #engagement. How might #socialmedia close the gap? 
  • Q5. Could tweetcasting a debate (formally or informally) create a new kind of #socialmedia political experience?
  • Q6. How are 2016 POTUS campaigns demonstrating a more innovative use of #socialmedia?

On WEDS 4/27 at 1pm ET, the #smchat community takes on Politics and Social Change, with the questions framed above. Join us for a lively exchange.

Next month on the 4th WEDS (5/25) we’ll discuss Social Media in Political Outcomes, then we’ll see where that and the following month (6/22) takes us. Typically, we try to synthesize in our final month, and look ahead. As always, bring your ideas and your energy on social change.

Looking forward to an interesting discussion.

Chris aka @sourcepov

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