Can Social Media put Voters Wise ? ( India Elections )
Can Social media excite and influence Voting ? Does it have the power to move the emotions of voters ? Can Social media really cause wild enthusiasm among Voters ? Will Social media Campaign become an attribute or parameter influencing the choice of voting ? When will Social Media be firmly in a position to choose our next Legislator ? These are the questions weighing upon the spirit and mind of digitally literate voters who make up 85 to 90 million (not negligible when one considers the persons these voters in turn can influence) in India. This number is also set to explode in future.
Use of social media is on the rise. I see young school children in growing numbers taking to Social Media and they are likely to attain voting age in 4 – 5 years. I am also delighted to see Seniors and Elders on social media in good numbers. I need not have to say anything about the well-known – the ‘au courant’ YOUTH of our country who hold the ace to transform attitude, attution, and action amongst the polpulace.
That Social Media presents excellent prospects in blending a party’s insights with motivational messages, is evidenced by major elections in a couple of developed nations in the last five years. The major Digital Tools are Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. “About 90% of Senators and House members (in U.S.A.) have Twitter accounts as do more than 45 Governors and 35 World Leaders” – says Laurence Cruz, an analyst and contributor. That is the crux. Myths regarding Social Media are also getting demystified with each passing day. PROOF : In the aftermath of the Boston Bomb Blasts (April 15, 2013) people took to Social Media and a general analysis of the postings revealed that the comments/postings were “restrained & generally accurate” reflecting the true impact of Social Media to a Cause. This, however, was not the case in the Connecticut shoot out (December 16, 2012 ) last year. Social Media is turning to be more positive; becoming more ‘responsive; responsible and rejuvenating.’ POLITICS is no different than People’s cause and LEADERS should be ready to embrace and benefit from it.
Here’s my take : 1. In the short term, in India, in the 2014 Elections Social Media effect may not be high or stellar. But in the long term i.e. by the end of this decade – say in the 2019 Elections – any party can only afford to ignore Social Media at its peril. 2. Announce the selection of Candidate(s) via Twitter. ( Barack Obama announced his running mate Joe Biden’s selection in 2008 via Twitter, Obama made extensive use of it in 2012.) 3. Use digital platforms as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube liberally to promote policies and mould the minds of citizenry as a sculptor will mould the clay. 4. Use YouTube Videos to cite the challenges the nation is facing and the candidate’s plan(s) to tackle them effectively. 5. Be FIRST and Be RIGHT too. 6. Push yourself to be BETTER; Grow further; and not fail your Constituency; Remember, SOCIAL MEDIA is the best CATALYST. 7. Also remember that at least 10 friends are swayed by each individual’s Facebook posting. It is a small stimulus producing large vibrations. ‘Many a little makes a mickle’ – certainly not to be disregarded. 8. By the election(s) of 2019, for sure, TWITTER will even replace our 9 p.m. Prime Time news order. 9. It will also not be surprising if these Social Sites become the major Advertising Sites by then. 10. Every candidate will be posting photos to Instagram (now a part of fb ); posting images to Pinterest; Use Tumblr and Google+ ; favorite message filled songs on Spotify.
When Candidates struggle to keep up appearances and keep down expenses, this ‘ON-LINE FRENZY’ will serve a cocktail of ambrosia and elixir and boost their spirits.
Social Media will positively influence Voting. It has the sure power to move the emotions of voters. Social media will, sine dubio, enthuse voters and be of consequence. Social media campaign will be a parameter of assessment by the voters. Future legislators will be chosen by voters with Social Media playing a prominent role.
” Dieu avec nous ”
Idea Tidbit : Computer Scientist(s)/specialist(s) have an excellent opportunity to explore “BIG DATA” with its modern Tools for collecting, culling and analyzing the voluminous data obtained from Social Media data and throw valuable insight into VOTER BEHAVIOR. This is likely to be the NORM in future with increasing voter awareness, assessment and activity. It is a goldmine in waiting for the Computer Scientists/specialists. Sadly, I am neither a Computer specialist nor a competent enthusiast.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013; 11.10 p.m. ( IST )