Housley, Sharon. Impact of Technology on Politics. FeedForAll, 2012.
The continued growth of technology has had a significant impact on the political ratings that candidates achieve. The article Impact of Technology on Politics attempts to analyze how these two spheres of modern life, technology and politics, interrelate and what the outcomes are of this interrelationship.
Political candidates use technology in many ways. Different communication channels provided by the Internet have the power to influence the growth of different individuals in their respective spheres. The likes of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are powerful communication media platforms that can easily raise the ratings of political candidates. Housley claims that whether we acknowledge it or not, technology is a deciding factor in most political races. Through technology, politicians are able to access funds, gain political pundits, and spend less on campaigning and pushing their candidacy.
One of the ways in which technology influences politics is the financial side. Raising funds to use for campaigning is an important factor for political candidates. It comes with the need to create a vertical response to the whole country or target region. This is a major hurdle experienced by political candidates. The Internet aided Howard Dean to get donations that he required to gain access to a large part of the campaign region. By broadcasting through technological marketing, candidates get suitable donors to support different parts of their campaigns. Publicity on the Internet is a cheap method, as they do not have to re-publish, unlike what is provided by the print media. This is placed in various commonly-accessed links (Housley, Par. 1).
The Internet enables politicians to use podcasting. The act of podcasting can make anyone a journalist. Through podcasting, politicians are able to portray a journalistic stature, thereby ensuring that the information is considered credible. Self-proclamation of politicians through pundits is easily spread through messages. It is, however, difficult for politicians to guarantee the integrity of the information posted. The Internet can be accessed by anyone and podcasts can be posted by anyone. The integrity of information is therefore difficult to preserve, hence, many potential candidates may have to establish a verifiable connection with various achievements. All in all, gaining political publicity through podcasts is a common but expensive method to use, Housley admits. However, it is logical to assume that when correctly utilized, this is an extremely powerful political tool that pays off completely.
According to Housley, the impact of technology is great on a given generation. The young, educated, and affluent will relate to technological innovations. A proper presentation will gain ratings for candidates. Using the most recent technology will surely attract the youth. The older generation may not impact the raising of presidential bids, especially if they are done through social media. The older generation uses the Internet much less. The younger generation relates easily to these media platforms. This differentiation is used by politicians to gain advantage in their political bids. Politicians use technology to raise their bids among the youth, while traditional methods are used for the older generation.
Another way to look at the matter is in relation to thinking about the Internet as a tool for free advertising. It is no secret that presidential bids are the most expensive, as they are run to cover the whole region. On the other hand, political videos easily generate online rating gains, and such political Internet advertisement will reach the target audience if launched properly. Individuals perform the needed publicity as each person shares the video, and so on. The extra generated videos are not paid for, while on social networks even the original posting is free.
It is clear that gaining political publicity through the use of technology has become easier, especially since technological devices are so accessible and widespread. The article analyzed is prudent in arranging technological tools into separate groups that work as a effective means of communicating between a political figure and the target audience. However, with the use of the Internet, any political figure can become recognizable within just a few minutes. In only a few hours, public opinion on a particular political figure is already formed within one of the social groups of voters. Not just the good, but also a bad reputation can be formed in a blink of an eye using modern technology. It often happens that the bad “gossip” spreads much faster. With the huge impact that technology has on societies and public opinion in particular, it is crucial to be cautious in the use of information about any political figure, or you risk making a positive advertisement into a negative advertisement with just one click.