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EYE-BALL Opinion – Politics has lost its ‘Bling’ – the shallowness of Social media reflected in politics –

February 19, 2013

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– Politics has lost its ‘Bling’ –
–  the shallowness of Social media reflected in politics –
| Author: EYE-BALL Opinion | 19th Feb 2013 |

Arealisation that our Leaders have become insignificant was not a surprise, finding the reason why was just as easy.  

The speed in which social media has reshaped the world into a short-fused ADD type epidemic is symbolic of a human race fast approaching a zenith of nothingness.

Many will argue that we were already on that path – this author does not disagree, but what is obvious is the way. ‘Twitter’, Facebook’ and the other social mediums have turned a number of generations into ‘junkies’ of a different type.

Children as young as five and lower are well versed in using mobile phones, ‘I Pads’ and the like.  High school children – and I say ‘children’, are more savvy then their parents and there are no real controls.

Rather then spend time and converse, communication is reduced to 140 characters going back and forth in cyber space and the world is listening.  Many ‘tweets’, and/or ‘texting’ messages have found their way to global audiences through ‘hacking’, and recipients seeking higher ‘followers’ by re-sending messages received.

Added to this ever invasive hand-held virus is a willingness for Political Leaders to embrace the ‘social-media’ network and become a part of the same epidemic.

Rather then look to the future and see where this social-media epidemic has society headed, Politicians as a group have themselves embraced the phenomenon.   Should they not be looking at the consequences of such an infectious virus?

The downside of this – ‘let’s join them’ type betrayal, has to be Leadership integrity.

Politics is diminished by politicians seeking to control their media message with short tweets, and Facebook posts designed to generate favourable discussion and profile extension.

There is no doubt that politicians have embraced the media and the time spent managing their media image never ends – they are always conscience of their media profile and how a ‘slip-up’ can destroy a career.  Their main focus is on popularity and exposure through media adviser recommendations. as a consequence who is focused on policy development and design … most often it is paid consultants and the like?

This ‘social’ virus has infected all levels of Governance from Federal to Local Councils.  It is too late to come up with some antidote to quell the spread, or cure the problem.

Where is the time for electorate marketing on a face to face basis … send a broadcast e-mail, a tweet, or update the Facebook blog, have a staffer post a few  comments, and ‘likes’, and then moderate the negatives out and let the ego stroking begin.

You only have to see the conduct of the House during televised Question Time where behaviour is at its worst to realise that patience in others has waned … the search for political ‘one-liners’ is a daily chore for all MP staffers, all in the hope that it will run and re-run on media circles for hours , if not days if the one-liner gains traction.

Where is the policy construct in that political environment?  Independents Windsor and Oakeshott  are left out in the cold most of the time – their commentary is about the legislation agenda – they have no standing in the ‘House’ other than their vote allows the Government to hold sway.  They suffer from ‘head-swell’ in thinking they are important … the reality is they are isolated and the minority Government experiment has failed us all.

Social media followers can only follow a limited number and they will always choose the Leaders and high-profile politicians.  Oakeshott and Windsor are well down the list.

Media adviser’s embrace the new age social-media – it makes their job so much easier in controlling the message.  It is also third-party and easy to deny blaming a staffer when something goes wrong.

Politicians have invited this scrutiny on themselves.  The have not thought it through to where it will all end up.  

People no longer spend time in each others company – just send them a ‘tweet’ or a ‘Facebook’ nudge.  Facebook uses are realising the cost in time and effort to maintain 100’s and even 1,000 of friends – nobody has that many real friends they can keep in touch with in the real world.  It’s all ego driven and the infection generates insecurity issues.

To stay up to date on politics and developing stories you have to embrace the social media network.   Print media is struggling with the explosion of social media and how to report the news.  A story is instant these days – a 24 hour cycle and its done and over and moved on.  Print newspapers can’t operate in that environment.  If the print media is alive in 2 years it will be because someone destroyed the internet.  Can any of you see that happening?

There is a bigger spin off problem – the quality of media reporting on politics is no longer about investigative reporting.   Presenters these days must have that ‘lipstick’ Barbie look and be prepared to allow themselves to be used in the same way streetwalker’s display their assets to attract viewers.  They speak directly to audiences, always scripted and most often without intelligent political commentary.

Who cares anyway because the next story is already being broadcast somewhere else … the trick is to produce eye-candy to keep the viewed from switching channels.

The ‘News’ cycle has become a maze – and to recall every word spoken and image seen is impossible in any 24 hour cycle.  None of us can escape it nor absorb all that is out there.

How many of you go on a holiday and leave all phones, laptops, ‘I Pads’ and the like at home.  How many can actually disconnect from their daily routine of reading e-mails, Facebook posts, tweets and the like?

It is a disease, infecting younger and younger people every day and all our Political Leaders seem to be interested in is embracing the opportunity to better interface with the electorate.

To help prove to yourself you are not dependent – go a week without a visit to your Facebook,  or Tweet’ page, don’t read personal e-mails for a week.   See how soon the withdrawal symptoms begin to impact on your mood and stress levels.

Oh better still – do it cold-turkey, i.e. don’t warn your friends and see how they respond to your no-reply status.

Please – if you found this story to your liking and would like to promote it to your social media contacts – i.e. Twitter, Facebook, or other icon linked account below – please use/click on your favoured Icon(s) to promote the story.  Thankyou.

Have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative via the links below and let them know how you feel about this, or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.

Links to Australian Parliamentary Website – MP’s

The EYE-BALL Opinion …

  1. The Parable
    February 19, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    There is excellent analysis above. Shallow media, need for a grab, appealing social acceptance and eye candy. There are other issues, like branding the world New Age. The Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, Christianity & the Romans, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, the Industrialisation age, and now the Communications Age.

    This web site constitutes social media. It competes against commercial media, is often a by product of commercial media, referring to reports, from newspapers, you tube, other blogs and tv etc and generally critical of the commercial media, always offering editorial perspective. As ratings for TV alter through the Communications age, and Newsprint circulation collapse, a blog is an alternative.

    In this start phase blogs are generally free, poorly resourced and underfunded. WordPress intends to change that. It does not mean much. The thoughts and analysis are too reflected only in readership.

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