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Is Any Involvement in Politics Better Than None At All?

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

In my opinion I believe that any involvement in politics is better than none, even if it is strictly online.  You are still getting a dose of “real life” politics that are the same topics that are being discussed in news online and on television.  They may be more polarized views online, but that is what happens when people go online and find information that matches their own views and opinions.

Citizen journalism is online and it is highly encouraged by stations like CNN and their iReport,  their slogan is:

Share Your Story, Discuss Your Issues With CNN

They even have specific assignments for people to complete in a space called the assignment desk.  CNN even gives crash courses in journalistic writing on the same page.  When Rick Sanchez had his show on CNN, Rick’s List, he devoted much of the broadcast to his viewers opinions and encouraged them to get involved in making the news.

But, there is a part of that thinks that being involved only online is a bad thing. You are not engaging in intellectual conversations in life and there is no spontaneity with online conversations in the blogosphere, there is not thinking on your feet.  Online you have time to formulate your opinion and thoughts and map them out.  In real life conversations you do not have that luxury you have to know what you are talking about.  
Like the cartoon above, the man is in obvious disconnect from the other men at the bar, but it can be a good thing for some people, like the men in the cartoon who do not have to be bothered any longer with his “cockamamie theories and insane opinions”.  People can get their “crazy” out online with that vail of secrecy, people not knowing who you are.   In my opinion it can be a good thing or a bad thing.

I think that democracy will, and has to an extent, adapted to this dual dimension of online and “real life” political conversation. The only thing that I can see has changed is that candidates have had to move some of their campaigning online to meet these online conversationists and to target them as voters.  I don’t think that there are huge impacts on democracy because of this.

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