Home > Uncategorized > Blog 10: ‘Is this real life?’

Blog 10: ‘Is this real life?’

It seems blogging, tweeting, and any other form of internet communication has became just as popular as the youtube video that featured the phrase “is this real life”. But unlike like the other hundreds of viral youtube videos, online politics are not being discussed at the water cooler, people are instead choosing to look discrete behind their computer screen while they rant about their views via internet outlets. If we try to picture the people who have computer screens and water coolers at their place of work we will probably get an image of the average white collar workers like those in the movie office space. We may think of these people as the ones who are finally getting their voice heard by using internet mediums to discuss politics, instead of before where their only options were to stand on a soap box or write ‘notes to the editor’. In this respect, on the level of ‘average citizens’ I think that being involved in politics online is the same as being involved in politics in ‘real life’. Average citizens usually discuss issues with friends, or partake in healthy arguments with strangers at the local store front. Why is it so different that they now type out or record their beliefs in order to share it with even more friends and even more strangers. I see internet politics as more ‘real’ than just speaking with one friend in ‘real life’ because of the availability of information and the many ways you can share your opinion.

What this says for democracy in regards to ‘average citizens’ is that it can only improve their knowledge, and thus their engagement in voting. People now can find many sources that are willing to catear to their learning style. With options such as online videos, news paper articles, and blogs people can now look up and find information on whatever issues their looking for. I believe that more knowledge only has positive implications for democracy.

On the other hand, online politics for those who are ‘a little less than extraordinary’ such as politicians, and political commentators are are not the same as politics in ‘real life’. Politicians may use twitter twenty times a day, but that does not mean that they are not required to go to the floor and vote on an issue. Also for political commentators, people may read their blog religiously, but they have no way of getting mass appeal from the internet alone. The only way in todays politics to get a large amount of attention and notary is by having a spot on a tv show, or a well respected column in a newspaper. The online politics in has less of an impact on people more directly involved in politics and law making. If the government was to go to completely ‘online’ mediums, than your right to democracy would be dependent on computer access (which would discriminate all those who, for a variety of reasons do not have access to such amenities).

Overall being involved in politics online is great for those who are not directly involved, and for those who have a direct relation to politics and the democratic system, online politics can only offer them another form of media and outreach to the public.

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