Sunday, December 28, 2008

Online social networking's impact on government

Probably for millenia, politics and government have operated behind closed doors. Sure, people will often give a reason why they support or oppose a particular issue. But I suspect that offering the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth has been the exception... not the rule.

Then came the internet.

Today's NHR (by Abbe Smith) offers some insight into online social networking (MySpace, Facebook, etc.) and how it's changing the world:

“I think our lives — of my generation — are going to be really documented,” said Thomas Cain, a 24-year-old student at Southern Connecticut State University...

Richard Hanley, director of Quinnipiac University’s graduate journalism program, acknowledged the trend and echoed Cain’s assessment of why young people post so many photos online...

Hanley said the phenomenon sheds light on a broader trend of weakening notions of privacy “This generation is the one that is recording a highlight reel of their lives in real time and making sure the world knows about it. It’s a completely different definition of privacy than previous generations,” Hanley said...

“I don’t think there is a notion of privacy, especially in my generation,” Cain suggested after contemplating the idea. “We grew up with reality TV, where there was no privacy. We grew up with the Internet. I know more about Britney Spears than I do about my cousins.”

The internet is changing the world. I hope it also changes government as we know it, forcing our elected officials to stop telling half-truths and start telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

I doubt it'll happen today, but my guess is that it will happen with time as Gen Y and Gen Z begin running for office.

Tim White

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

People wear cloths for good reason. All this exposure on the internet wll become way too much for average people. You wait...the general public will be clamouring for restrictions and the pols will welcome it. I suspect we're in a brief period of unbridaled openness on the web. Somehow a facebook portrait of 20 somethings getting stoked up at a college dorm party isn't so hot for the same person now forty and striving to raise a family where setting an example is now more important.