Social media and the presidency
With the 2020 election coming up, there has been a lot of talk about the next generation and their role in shaping the U.S. In fact, the generation that was raised and molded by the internet, will be voting this election. Naturally, this has caused a collision between the old, long-standing traditions of the Presidency, as old as the United States, and the young, untamed phenomenon, the Internet, as old as The Backstreet Boys.
By far, the thing to emerge from the Internet that has the biggest impact on the Presidency is social media. Never before have so many thoughts and opinions been published in seconds. With how much controversy surrounds the Oval Office, it is no wonder entire sections of social media platforms are devoted to recording polls, approval ratings, hosting debates and sharing video clips and articles of news sources.
Originally, this kind of free speech was a great exercise of the First Amendment. However, like most things, it only takes a few people to ruin it for everyone else. Social media quickly became a breeding ground for biased news, rhetoric and brutal debates that usually ended in insults. Not quite the ideal environment to find the next leader of the free world.
Often times, people will spend only a few minutes deciding which candidate is best for them. Before social media, people had to sit through debates, read the candidates’ interviews in the paper or even attend candidates’ rallies. With social media, people make incredibly important decisions based off hearsay. Social media has a way of condensing large amounts of information into short, controversial clips.
Other than the Electoral College, social media has the biggest influence on presidential elections. So it is crucial, especially with the internet generation becoming the new voters, that social media does not become the driving force behind presidential elections. As this new generation inherits the government, it is up to them to make the critical decision of who should be president without being influenced by an increasingly misleading world online.