Home > B3 and B4, Learning > The Political Process in an Age of Technology

The Political Process in an Age of Technology

Over the course of this last trimester in our government class, we’ve ventured through so many branches of our government and the processes within it that it was difficult to even start to think about what I wanted to write my reflection on.  After a while, I began to think about not only what I found interesting, but what actually was important to me in regard to become a better citizen of the United States. I spun the wheel and I finally landed on technology’s impact on elections and the political process today. As technological advancements are made each and every day, political leaders gain more and more access to the public via the internet, the media, and more. Examples of these are: campaign commercials that can be accessed from all over the world, candidates gaining donations through the internet, and the ability to connect more to the public through the ability to really hear what they have to say. All of these things are both good and bad; however, I believe the increase in access to the public via technology is, in the long run, a good thing. The fact that political leaders are able to get themselves out there much easier allows for people to participate more and be more engaged. As the United States has become more reliant on technology (which is not a good thing for it promotes laziness), it has become all that people do. This is why I chose this topic to reflect on; simply because I, myself, spend so much time utilizing technologies that are available to me.

The campaign commercials’ availability on the internet is a good thing because it allows those who rely on technology to receive political news to see them. It began with only those who had access to a radio could hear the candidates, then it went to television which progressively increased until now, when “47 percent of non-Hispanic whites use the Internet, e-mail or text messaging to get political news or exchange their views, compared with 43 percent of non-Hispanic blacks and 50 percent of English-speaking Hispanics” (1). This statistic shows just how many people solely rely on their access to technology. This allows a more technical fight for presidency because it allows more people to see commercials that are both for and against the candidate of their choice, giving them a broader perspective.

http://dekerivers.wordpress.com/2008/10/31/2008-presidential-predictions/

                Candidates now have the ability to take in donations and other sources of money to spend through the internet. This is a fantastic thing because it helps prevent the “risk of money power dominating the candidate” (2). For so long, candidates that have more money are simply always going to have a better chance to win. This is because, from the get-go, they are able to campaign more, influence more people through said campaigning, and more. Now, with this availability of technology to aid in this financial issue, candidates can be more evenly matched. There will always be a candidate that is funded more heavily than others; however, with technology, hopeful candidates can start their campaigning over the web before the really start it in the political process. This allows for more equality for all.

 http://www.prx.org/pieces/25096-clinton-addresses-money-in-politics

                Lastly, the ability to have access to the true voices is crucial when talking about the benefits of technology in today’s political process. As Prof. Daniel Kreiss from Stanford University said, “These technologies are bringing about a radical change in the political process as ordinary citizens are increasingly participating and making their voices heard”(3).  As more people turn to technology to get their news and see the latest updates about their candidates, it allows more people to communicate in some form with them. In the 2008 election, people made videos and posted them to YouTube to ask questions to candidates of the presidential election during various debates. This alone speaks at length at the vitality of technology in regard to communication between the people and the candidates.

http://socialmediasaturday.eventbrite.com/

                This is just a glimpse at what I learned in my government class. As I conclude this post, I think about the fact that before this was brought to my attention, I didn’t even think that this was a factor in the political process. I have been raised in such a technologically advanced age that I wouldn’t have ever known the difference. Before, I can’t imagine what campaigning was really like and the challenges they must have faced. Voter participation wasn’t a big issue because of the universal patriotism during that time, but during the years after that and before the age of technology began, the hoops that candidates must have had to leap through to promote voter participation must’ve been crazy. However, now, “people need little more than an Internet connection to become a more active part of the political process” (1). This is what makes technology so important. At the end of the day, promotion of voter participation and having the peoples’ voices heard are the things that make technology such a benefit in today’s political process.

(1) : http://articles.cnn.com/2008-06-26/politics/technology.election_1_mindy-finn-political-process-online-media?_s=PM:POLITICS

(2): http://www.sbs-resource.org/technology-in-the-political-process-a-grey-area-with-no-clarity-yet.htm

(3): http://www.stanford.edu/~dkreiss/Comm111S.html

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  1. May 1, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Ryan, great job! I think all of your points are well-thought and had terrific analysis. You always had a clear idea about where your articles where taking you. Although your post was splendid, it took a little bit to get past your intro. Great job!

  2. hunterp23
    May 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    You did great in writing this article I really enjoyed reading it. My only complaint would be that it was a little lengthy in areas causing me to loose focus but overall great job!!

  3. coleb127
    May 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Ryan, I think you did very well in this blog. You gave very interesting points and topics, which will draw in the reader. However, I would try to reduce the length of you post, it can be hard to read this much about a certain subject. Other than that good post.

  4. May 5, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    This is really good! The lines that struck me are: “There will always be a candidate that is funded more heavily than others; however, with technology, hopeful candidates can start their campaigning over the web before the really start it in the political process. This allows for more equality for all. (I’m nodding in agreement.)

    I agree with HunterP and ColeB – do you think it may be possible to cut some of the “thinking about thinking” where you describe how you selected social media as your topic?

    • ryanr13
      May 7, 2012 at 11:27 am

      I’m just now looking at this right before we have to go to advisory. I’ll take a look at it during class or later today, I’m sure there is, I just somewhat thought it was necessary for the post. However, you being the teacher, I’ll take that advice any day haha

      • May 7, 2012 at 1:03 pm

        … no need to make changes, Ryan – it’s YOUR reflection… leave it just the way you want it!!

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