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 )

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