Home > Uncategorized > Blog 9: Politics Online

Blog 9: Politics Online

My first thought when I read this blog topic was that, of course online politics are the same as “real life” politics. Politics are politics no matter where it’s shown, right? And aren’t we getting to the point where we’re just happy that people are interested in politics? Hear me out and I think I’ll be able to convince you otherwise, just like I was able to do in my own head!

This semester we’ve talked a lot about what goes into campaigning, from the Nixon election to the Obama election, and what is something that’s always seems to be evident? The whole idea of image perception. Now I know that these things can be construed through the internet, but not nearly as good as in real life. Think about a conversation that you have with someone on facebook chat and now think about a conversation that you had with the same person face to face. Completely different, huh? When things are portrayed online you miss out on expressions, tone of voice, and body language; all things that are extremely important when it comes to forming opinions of others. Another example would be online dating websites, that’s the same thing right? I wouldn’t ever be able to go off of a profile and picture alone when it comes to a relationship. There are just so many other factors that I take into consideration revolving around finding a partner, most of which can’t be displayed through an online website.

But what are the implications for politics online? The main thing that I can see is that there are so many sources for political information and if you aren’t highly informed on politics and just wanted to read up on something you could easily come across something on the internet that might not have any truth to it! Anyone can put information out there on the internet. Take a look at Wikipedia…when Matt Painter was being offered the head basketball coaching position here it Mizzou Wikipedia prematurely put it on his bio that he was already signed as the next head coach. Now if someone who knew nothing about the subject happened to stumble across his page and saw that they would assume that he was announced the

head coach, and then they would tell their friends, and their friends would tell their friends, and then a wildfire of false information has been created all because of a website that was wrong!

So politics online can be effective to a certain extent but there definitely has to be more to it. If something can be photo shopped to look like this then the limitations of online networking can be limitless, to a point of destruction!

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  1. April 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    In a way, your post is a lot like Gladwell’s argument. He argues that offline, real world relationships are needed for risky political action, and you are arguing that offline, real world interactions are helpful for truly understanding politics. And this certainly makes sense, in that the bonds we make in the real world have a quality and “realness” to them that online only relationships seem to lack. Perhaps technology will soon catch up and provide an opportunity to experience online interactions that are as “real” as real world interactions.

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