I think that it is safe to say that the influence of digital technology has surpassed the likes of TV and more traditional media as the most important means of communication in today’s society.
With Trump’s success, social media as opposed to mainstream media, the question was to what extent was it pivotal for forming the public perception the UK election.
When Theresa May refused to take part in televised debates, it sparked an interest in how important that actually was, and that we are in a shift in not just politics, but in a general way information is consumed and conveyed.
Only 2 major US newspapers ratified Donald Trump in the US presidential elections, whilst Hilary Clinton was endorsed by a hefty 57 – does this prove that the newspaper is outdated and this statistic is useless? Or did it make a difference and despite 57, Clinton still fell short.
Surprisingly Trump was incredibly effective on Twitter, Snapchat and other forms of digital communications even though he was often ‘trolled’ for his unusual mannerisms, hair and apparently small hands. This media further allowed Trump to make a direct approach to his voters and potential voters.
One definite positive is that social media messages are straight from the mouth and cannot be ‘confused’ or ‘mistaken’ by the press or anybody else, it is what it is.
It has also been found that the digital media has overtaken television and mainstream media in terms of trustworthiness and the most important form of communication – and you can’t really blame it.
Social media allows for an accurate insight into politician’s constant thoughts and gives them the chance to be seen as a more ‘normal’ person who they can relate to and interact with.
Most politicians throughout the general election were cautious with their messages and tweets, but the matter of fact is that the only way to grab the public’s attention is to be a little absurd and ludicrous.
Without a doubt, politics has already been transformed. Twitter has condensed political debates to 140 characters, meaning there is no room to beat around the bush and it is essential to get your key message across. Attention spans have shortened and minimalism (within reason) is now driving society.
Although I do not think that the general election was directly affected by the activity on social media, it definitely helped engaged voters for the future, boosted the overall turnout and now provides an easily accessible platform to debate for all.