Home > Uncategorized > Blog 10: Online vs. Real Life

Blog 10: Online vs. Real Life

In my opinion, any involvement in politics is better than no involvement. That being said, I think there is a dramatic difference in online participation and real life participation in the democratic process.  I believe it all comes down to effort.  There are millions of blogs on the internet and yet we see far less people actually show up for rallies or volunteer to help out during a campaign.  Its far easier to sit on your couch and write than it is to actually go out and participate in public discourse or the political process. That being said, the more invested a person is in a policy or person, the more likely they will feel the initiative to go actually do something.  I believe being involved in politics on only an internet way leads to more dramatic discourse because there are no consequences for what you say.  Blogs rarely make you have to defend yourself and you can say what you want without having to see the other side. (literally and figuratively)

To illustrate the disconnect between online and real life politics, consider this article about the Ron Paul campaign in 2008. http://www.wired.com/politics/onlinerights/news/2007/06/ron_paul

A very unknown, libertarian, presidential candidate at the start of 2008, Ron Paul became an internet sensation as supporters used mainly web based resources to raise awareness about Paul.  He would routinely win online polls of republican nominee popularity yet he recieved no where near a sufficient number of votes to be the republican nominee. 

If one were to only consider who was ahead in the race by internet standards, he would have seemed to be a clear front runner but reality was significantly different.  This illustrates that there is a disconnect between internet and real life politics and no matter how one might involve themselves politically on the internet, there must be an involvement in real life as well.

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