What gain or loss has social media brought to a political candidate?

With elections going on across the country, campaigning is again in the local media, mainstream media and across the social media. Around the nation people are talking, debating, discussing, tweeting, texting and blogging about politics. In 2008 the U.S. had one of the biggest elections ever and the fact was whether Barack Obama or John McCain won, CHANGE was happening in America.
The “winds of change” are often difficult for people to get used to or work with but the fact is times are always changing and people are always growing and reinventing themselves. Look around. A person’s day to day life has taken on a new look. For example, the daily newspaper is becoming more digitalized and turning to online editions. This allows a reader the ability to have continuously updated information. The ability to communicate worldwide has completely changed with new mobile gadgets and high speed internet ability as well as social media. People are “plugged in”. Change happens.

With elections coming up and campaigns seeming to never really end, politicians have turned to social media as well as their constituents using their own social media circles to reach out to millions of people on a daily basis, not always trying to spread a message but often just trying to keep their candidate of choice in the headlines and being discussed. Social Media has been one of the biggest changes that have come along and those who understand how to use it both in a good way or a negative way can certainly make a difference in a campaign.

The question is, are they spreading a relevant and truthful message as well as something they will stand behind in the coming months and years if they take office? Or, are they just trying to catch the attention of the voters, get the headlines forwarded to reach more viewers and ultimately win the largest number of votes? But with social media, another question is do their constituents know this and allow this to happen? Do they become part of the process by pushing their candidate’s messages in the social media outlets while sometimes knowing the message may not be completely factual or actually promoting lies just to promote their party of choice?

Social media can spread the message of a candidate over night and help them gain political points while at the same time, spread a message of half truths or lies but through the same process this tool can be used to hold a candidate responsible for sticking to the facts during a campaign and long after.

What spreads through the internet often comes back later to hold a candidate responsible but also those that put the message in the media to begin with. Some things never change and one of those things is that one’s words can come back to haunt them and social media just means that more people have seen, heard or watched a message or video and will be able to pull that up again at a later date. A person’s words or a person’s message should be something they want their name attached to for a very long time.

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