On the dawn of Election Day 2012, we now stare into a political arena that has changed drastically over the last four years. From tweets, to likes, to stumbles, and shares, the art of connecting with voters is completely optimized to capture the attention of our now hyper-connective society. Simply put, when you’re 59-year-old mother can relay the most poignant tweets from any debate night, it is clear that social media has severely altered our political landscape.
The fact of the matter is that politics, as we know it, has changed due to the complete overhaul of our society through social media. We connect not only through town hall meetings, overzealous campaign rallies, or dramatized commercials, but also through meaningful virtual conversations. For example, both presidential candidates have posted images with a powerful message or fact, opening up the opportunity for a full-fledged forum of debate.
With analysts dubbing 2012, "social media election", there is no room to underscore the financial investment that has been dedicated to outreach efforts this political season. An estimated $1 billion has been spent on advertising, with nearly $54 million allotted to digital ad platforms including mobile media across the U.S. This is not to mention the voter registration app that has been developed for 13 different states in partnership with the state government, Facebook, and Microsoft Corp.
With decision time fast approaching, there are few who will sit down and reflect upon the role of social media in this election-except the social media gurus, of course. But at a time when our votes are so heavily influenced by our candidates’ social media mastery, it’s worth the thought. Once the winner is announced, and we wishfully prepare for continued economic growth and social change, we should begin to ponder the next great idea that’ll keep are society forever engaged and informed on our country’s politics. How about this: A mobile app for submitting your ballot votes? You decide.