February 22, 2012
An interesting day on the political front in Australia today. Social media has been on fire with most of the top 10 trends today revolving around the resignation of Kevin Rudd as Foreign Minister, and speculation about the leadership of the Labor Party. It is fascinating watching this drama (some say soap opera) play out via Twitter; now we not only watch what is happening, but we interact instantly with politicians, journalists and other members of the public, contributing our own opinions to the mix.
We have the opportunity to vent, rage, discuss, joke and laugh via Twitter, Facebook, blogs and forums. No longer are we just a passive audience; our contributions become a part of the wider analysis of the reaction to the news. We are ahead of the TV coverage; social media is instant, we know immediately when breaking news happens, even when we are nowhere near a TV. Then we retweet it, share it, comment on it, reply to it, and retweet it again.
Politicians and journalists give us short, snappy quotes in 140 characters or less, sometimes with links to more in depth articles. Each tweet or comment is a mini headline; I worry that people won’t click on the link and read the full story, it is easier to just read the ‘headline’ and form an opinion based on that alone. And the reactions can often be extreme; either over the top rage, or ill considered support for the topic of the hour.
No matter what your opinion is about the current state of affairs in Australian politics, and no matter who you support when it comes to the leadership spill, please take the time to read the stories behind the headlines, make your opinions educated ones and contribute to the conversation with intelligence. We may not be able to influence the outcome of what is currently happening, but an election will happen soon enough, and we all need to have the knowledge to make our votes count, and it is our individual responsibility to use our votes to shape the future of our country.
Quote of the Day: Politics, it seems to me, for years, or all too long, has been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong. ~Richard Armour