Neo-Luddites: internet usage in local politics

The 2010 automated elections proves without a doubt that the internet is going to be the future of propaganda. While the efficacy of mass https://ardeend.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=979&action=editcampaigning is still questionable (see: Manny Villar) , there can be no question that the impact of social media is only going stronger. At least, in the national arena. In the local scene meanwhile, things aren’t as clear-cut.

Travel and communication is difficult in our mountainous archipelagic country. Despite the establishment of the RO-RO port system, travel through our hilly lands is still perilously hindered. Airplanes and the occasional boats are used to move from one point of the country to another. A difficulty which the digital revolution continues to address.

With the introduction of the internet, skype and SMS we are able to instantaneously connect to any cellphone or internet-conected device in the country. The emergence of 3g modems and smartphones extends the reach of laptops even in remote regions of the planet  untainted with civilization. Certainly, the ubiquity of cellphones means that their significance in the texting capital of the planet needs no flourish.

Yet despite the sheer accessibility of the world wide web, many of our country’s political leaders veer away from its true potential. The only people it would seem that use social media (and other forms of internet propaganda) are national figures with a national constituency. I have yet to see a local political party use twitter for their ends.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to ask one of our province’s political leader what their plans were for online advertising. The shrill reply was that their was none; courtesy of photoshop and people with too much time on their hands. How fearless of our political patrons! Makes you wonder why they place their name in the limelight in the first place.

If history is any guide however, this apprehension can only come from the sheer swiftness the new medium is encroaching traditional forms of information distribution. Our common politician, in all their years of altering public perception through traditional means(radio, newspapers, television ) are yet to master the interwebs. Since the democraticizing/anarchist power of the collaborative medium, gives individuals the power to twist ideas as instantly as webmasters can post. Then again, it’s probably just bad experience from their fellow compatriots.

UPDATE: Cebu Congressman Pablo John “JP” Garcia is even paying for facebook ads. So far his facebook page already has 22, 539 likes. His twitter followers is at 617. Way to go Congressman.


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