In the race for the presidency, a new form of media has become increasingly important to all sides of the political spectrum — presidential candidates’ Twitter pages. These Twitter pages are evolving into one of the most influential tools used by candidates today. Twitter pages are important because of two primary reasons: the prospect of new audiences and the general evolution of technology over time.
One of the biggest reasons that presidential candidates’ Twitter pages are impactful is the potential new audience that it reaches. As older forms of media lose their appeal for newer generations, the process of adapting to a new media allows you to maintain voting support in the younger population. This is especially true according to the Nielsen Report, a company that puts together TV ratings, which stated that the amount of TV 18 to 24 year olds watch has dropped by 38% since 2011. As more people stop using certain forms of media, it is advantageous to take advantage of this lost audience.
One might argue that Twitter’s low character count causes political discourse to be distilled into small talking points rather than the large, complex problems they are trying to convey. The problem with this thinking is that it is a dual-sided problem. A character limit can also cut away unnecessary political rhetoric. Instead of a long speech filled with useless terminology, Twitter has the ability to force politicians to get down to what they think is important.
The other negative argument against media forms like Twitter is that the candidates are trying too hard to be cool in the current time period. There is a large difference between randomly throwing in popular media like Pokemon Go in an over-calculated attempt to stay relevant and using the latest tools available to someone. This belief sets a dangerous precedent because eventually we will be forever stuck in the past and unable to progress without fear.
To put this into perspective, you can look back in history to any number of presidents who pushed forward their candidacy by adopting new forms of media. This could include presidents such as Bill Clinton with MTV and John F. Kennedy with TV over Richard Nixon. They both adapted toward the future technologies at hand. These events and many before them have established a precedent that will head forward into the future. New forms of media such as Twitter will become increasingly important as time goes on. In an attempt to reach out to an audience, you must follow them into the future or be lost in the past.