Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Virtual Campaigning

Facebook continues to dominate the lives of the majority of people under thirty these days. Its used to exchange gossip, organise night outs as well as to 'poke' people in a flirty manner. I have noticed recently though that there's been a huge increase in the number of middle-aged (or older!) men who've been joining. Especially politicians. Not that I'm ageist - honest. Its just that it seems a little unnatural. Many of these men aren't that into email to start with. So why do they feel the need to try and connect with younger voters by having facebook profiles? To me, it all just looks a little bit sad and pathetic.

Facebook is now seen as the ultimate campaign tool when it comes to connecting to young people, especially during election time. I don't agree, and think there are far better ways to get people's attention. Like talking to them. And listening to them. Or having good websites, where people can ask questions and find out all the information they need. Personally, I'm fed up of all the messages I get from people on Facebook wanting me to join various groups, or take notice of different things. I much prefer looking at a website on my own accord if I'm interested in an issue or a campaign. I don't want to be forced to immediately join a group or show my support without considering an issue fully and thoroughly.

I'm not anti new media in any way. Indeed, I think initiatives like Plaid TV are great. Its just that I think many political parties worry too much now about what blogs are saying, or what's the latest on facebook rather than focusing on fundraising so that more can be done to campaign out on the streets. Also, the time they waste on facebook or checking out blogs could be better spent up-dating websites so that they contain more information which is up-dated regularly.

If politicians want to connect with young people, then they should go into schools and youth clubs and actually talk to them. They should listen and hear what they have to sa. People are kidding themselves if they think old fashioned campaigning is second best to things like facebook. Done properly, yes, networking sites can be of some benefit. But they are not the be all and end all. People would do well to remember that.

1 comment:

alanhorkan said...

+1 Insightful

Wish I'd written that. Very lucid. Clearly you are in the right job.