While covering and linking up several political stories over the past 15 months, I have primarily been silent as to the candidate of my choice. I will continue to do so, so nothing within this opinion relates to who I actually voted for this year.. Some time honored private matters, to me, are still cherished.
That said, I do not think the election of Donald Trump should be considered a surprise to anyone watching. Social media, the way we chat and chatter online, created this. We created this. WE made Donald Trump …
It also reminds me of using a spirit board.. or conjuring up something from another existence. If you really, really REALLY want to talk to a spirit, one may just talk back. Then you got your wish.
In our world, social media use and the quit hits of Twitter and Facebook have allowed us to dumb down political talk .. we have gone from large 10,000 word articles on the events of the day or week down to 100 character or so tweets. We decide on things after only glancing at headlines.. we do not check sources, but instead eat up anything we see on Facebook. So as long as we agree with it.
And that is another problem with modern social media. We do not find things to challenge our thoughts or opinions… we don’t want to be challenged. Instead we are given the ability to follow the places we are fans of on the newsfeed……and you miss valuable contrary information by doing so.
And the news? The news has become a victim, too. There is no ‘news’ anymore.. Today as Itype this there was a 7.8 quake off New Zealand and a tsunami warning. That is news. But it doesn’t sell in America. Instead the airwaves will be filled with indigestable political stories 24/7.
The protests against Trump are being made worse by a media that glorifies them. But when violence occurs, the media shutters back and quickly showcases brief and not-so-serious calls for calm.
Today on Twitter a friend asked me why I think Saturday Night Live was a fan of Hillary. She pointed out that Trump guest hosted the program. My answer was twofold. 1) Ratings. Trump equals ratings. 2) It was pre-extreme and pre-Muslim ban and pre-wall.
Trump used his social media influence in the 2016 election like no other candidate. Elections will not be fought on airwaves anymore.. radio ads don’t matter. TV ads just annoy. YouTube ads? They work… Social media platforms? They work. And sadly, fake clickbait websites work as well as the solid and reliable ones.
The 2008 election was the first time a candidate was able to harnass social media and Facebook to elicit donations and support among the young. In 2016, eight lightspeed fast years later, a candidate did not even bother raising money but instead used the platforms to gain a mass of people who, many of which never voted before, to vote for him.
It was the perfect storm in 2016..
You may not be happy with results. You may be one of those college students in certified ‘weep rooms’ or being told by university staff to form PlayDoh to express emotions (very silly in my thought)… or you are a member of the red state victors now hoping and praying that the president you so hoped for does not become a president you are not proud of.
We just don’t know.
We don’t have a clue.
A social media candidate is the modern day version of Mr Smith goes to Washington. But even Mr. Smith was forced to give more detailed thoughts on plans. And Mr. Smith was fiction!!!
Fiction is now alive and real in modern day 21st century politics.
A Congress, a Court, and a populace will now have to work and watch a President Donald Trump.
We got to know him (*kinda!*) through social media. And now as president, he says, he will tone it down. Backtrack… keep it less brash and unabashed.
…..perhaps that is the most interesting thing of all. Sure, social media changed everything. It changed how we read politics.. it changed how we vote.
But as Donald Trump is now realizing, it does NOT change how to govern….
We will now collectively watch how President Trump governs.
(Through it all, I still cannot stop to think about the Simpsons in 2000 predicting that a president Trump would happen……… wise beyond years)