Not only is he the country’s first black president, but now he is the first digital one! Let’s just say he has created a digital presidential presence that wasn’t there before. Obviously he and his team at the White House realize the value of using social media to connect with the American public. Now there is an Office of Digital Strategy at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Roughly twenty aides spend their days managing his Twitter account and the White House Facebook page, Instagram account and YouTube channel.
So many ways to “reach out” to everyday Americans if you have all the necessary tech tools, and the time? Social media is becoming a very crowded place, and I am sure that Mr. Obama’s followers are voluminous. But can social media really be persuasive? My own view is that we use this media primarily for our own personal entertainment and edification, “following” only those messengers who reinforce our own personal, social, and political views. Most people will search out where they will find those media sources that express only those opinions that coincide with their own, and tune out the others.
How many Republican followers do you think President Obama really has? From what I have read, most disagreements with his social media postings have largely taken the form of personal attacks rather than substantive replies. Maybe we will all learn to become more civil in the political social media world, and learn more about what we really need to know, regardless of whom the messenger may be. Let’s hope so.