Change does not come easily for many of us. As a rule, the more conservative a person is, the more difficult it is to accept change. Although this idea of not being too quick to change should generally be embraced, the rejection of all things new should not be a blanket policy.
Technology is a field that continues to see improvements almost daily, and there is likely no end to this trend in sight. And while many have tried to stay away from this technology, it has actually proven quite useful to the conservative cause.
What I have recently found to be true is that the new social media actually has much in common with the activism of the patriots of early America. Allow me to explain:
For some reason, United States citizens have bought in to the idea that our involvement with the political process should not intersect with that of our social lives. At some point in the history of our nation, political correctness and the fear of offending those who may disagree kept Americans from revealing their conservative principles to those with whom they daily interacted. The end result of this was a complete lack of involvement in the political process.
This has not always been the American way. In the days of the country’s founding, many, if not most, Americans were active at the very least with local government. Consider this from Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America of 1835:
…the political activity that pervades the United States must be seen in order to be understood. No sooner do you set foot upon American ground than you are stunned by a kind of tumult; a confused clamor is heard on every side, and a thousand simultaneous voices demand the satisfaction of their social wants. Everything is in motion around you; here the people of one quarter of a town are met to decide upon the building of a church; there the election of a representative is going on; a little farther, the delegates of a district are hastening to the town in order to consult upon some local improvements; in another place, the laborers of a village quit their plows to deliberate upon the project of a road or a public school. Meetings are called for the sole purpose of declaring their disapprobation of the conduct of the government…”
So what does this have to do with social media? Facebook and Twitter are the two most popular forms of social networking. If you have not yet delved into these new technologies, you are most likely at least familiar with them. Although they have stark differences in features, they are essentially the same in that they were created to be a way of networking with classmates, friends, family members and anyone else who may be somehow involved in our lives. We can share what is on our mind, post photos of our children or look up long-lost high school friends with whom we lost contact years or even decades ago. The social power of this technology is obvious.
What has happened with the recent Patriot Uprising has taken social networking by storm, however. Those who before had only posted videos of their family began sharing educational articles and videos that had inspired them to greater involvement.
There are so many informational articles written every single day that it is simply impossible for us to find them all. This is where social media comes into play. I may subscribe to a blog (articles written by a particular source) that my acquaintance across the street or across the country has never heard of. Because we are “friends” on Facebook, the moment I post a link to this great column I just read, he or she has instant access to it, along with all of my other Facebook friends or Twitter followers. This, of course, works both ways.
Both Twitter and Facebook have as their primary features ways for us to tell the world exactly what we are doing or what is on our mind at any given time. One minute we can share the first words just spoken by our child, and the next we can post our comments about the local candidate that we met the previous evening. Both of these updates will appear to all of our friends whether we attend church with them or we met them the week prior at a political rally.
The potential is endless, not only because of the huge audience of people with whom we can directly or indirectly share information, but because of the ease with which we can express ourselves. My hope is that the greatest result of this social media wave will be an increased awareness and activism of Americans not only while logged in to their computers, but in their everyday lives as well. Our involvement should not be limited to when we are sitting behind a desk, but online activism is a great way to get started.
Government awareness and concern should not be the priority only of a select few. America is a government “of the people.” The more people who are involved with this, the better off we will be. Whether you choose to use social media as an avenue to express yourself and educate your neighbor or not is up to you, of course. The important thing is that we are all doing our part.
I hope to publish more in depth “how-to” articles on this subject in the future, but the purpose of this blog is to show how social media has combined our personal and political lives in an amazing way that would thrill America’s founders.