The emergence of Web 2.0 has not only transformed the facet of individual social behavior, but it has also attached a prominent undertone to the functioning of politics within any democratic country. Social media and networking sites has completely transformed or to put in better, revolutionized the definition and practice of political machinery and campaigns. The feature of sharing content on social media has enabled people to publicize their political views more lucratively to a certain audience. Not only the citizens, but the politicians and government constituents are also utilizing this mechanism to improve the public opinion mechanism and communicate its policies and implemented laws in a more effective manner.
Social media today has actually given form to the concept of “global village” where all the people and its government within a state can competently function together and where the communication routes are fully operational, democratic and interactive. The next 10 arguments will validate Social media as an influential tool in modern politics.
Channel of two-way communication: The communication mechanism in the pre-World War II era was one way where only the ruling side shoved its decisions and policies on the subjects. Such practice encouraged despotism and autocracy. However, social media platform facilitates both the governing and the governed sides to put forward their end of the observations thus leading to a democratic, interactive and two-way communication which is ideal for the effective function of mass communication.
Faster updates of policies: Before the advent of social media, the information flow was stagnant and inconvenient. There was no medium through which the citizens can directly correspond with its representative government. The techniques of letters and applications were slow and uncertain. But now social media platforms allow the people to get instantly accustomed with the policies and rules of the country due to regular and revised posting of status updates by the political constituents.
Ventilation of mass grievances: The diversity and prosperity that social media provides stands unrivalled. With each government offices having their official profiles on social networks like Facebook and Twitter allows the citizens to directly put forward their grievances and complaints to the respective authority.
Most effective form of Election campaign: Road shows, stage programs, door-to-door publicity have taken a back seat with social media system being on the rise. Now with regular and accurate status updates by the electoral contestants, the voters can stay updated with the election procedure. The most amazing thing of social media is that the popularity of the campaign can be estimated with the number of voters responding and supporting the posts.
Wider reach: Social media is not geography-bound or society bound. It’s a global interaction platform. All the communities and all those places which cannot be physically covered by the government units can be easily reached through social media networks. A wider reach on the part of the government and political parties ensure a wider support base. Evaluating the socio-political and economic scenario of the nation also becomes simplified.
Cost-effective and time-saving: To physically interact with each of the vast populace is absurd and unrealistically expensive. Social media has made the political machinery economical since its maintenance is free and convenient. It also saves considerable time since within a second’s time any political declaration or update can be posted on the networking site without any other requirement. Social media political promotion doesn’t require large manpower and financial resources unlike the traditional means.
Maintains transparency: The politics of a country is made more transparent under the influence of social media. With every political unit maintaining its own site and profiles, the democratic functioning becomes clearer to the citizens. This checks corruption, and other incompetence.
Source of greater political education and consciousness: Social media results in a more politically aware and conscious citizenship where people are more accustomed of their rights and duties and they know how the political process works.
Extensive political participation provides a sense of contentment to the mass: More is the people’s active participation in the political process, more is the sense of satisfaction among the greater mass. The interests of the minorities and deprived classes can also be served well with social media in politics.
Efficient monitoring of changing public opinion: with a highly efficient feedback mechanism and social media metrics, the changing and evolving public opinion can easily me measured and evaluated. This enables the politics to be truly democratic in its nature and form.