Has the role of technology changed in politics? Well, if you remember the 2008 CNN holograms, then you know without a doubt that it has, and not always for the better. Holograms aside, today’s politics simply cannot function without technology. It impacts everything from media coverage to tabulating the results.
For the Average User, Access to Information has Expanded
For the average person on the street, technology means access to a vast and diverse collection of information about any given politician, campaign, or legislation. Of course, many people don’t use this resource appropriately because they don’t check their facts.
They don’t make sure the source of the information is valid, and they keep digging until they find information that backs their pre-existing beliefs. So while there is a tremendous amount of accurate political information available to anyone who wants to find it, it can be argued that many people don’t really care about the accuracy of what they read or research online.
Mobile Technology – There’s Room for Opportunity
Interestingly, Gallup conducted a poll in 2014 about how people use mobile technology to access information about political campaigns, voting, and political interactions. They found that “no more than 23% have used them for a variety of political interactions.” This leaves room for an abundance of opportunity.
Real Time Information
While people may, or may not, be accessing political information online and leveraging technology to gain that information, it is readily available – and at faster speeds than ever before. Social media technology has enabled politicians to communicate their messages around the world within minutes. Of course, this also means that any faux pas they make also hit the global news waves almost instantaneously.
This access to real time information, gives the media, other politicians, and the general public the ability to respond and react quickly.
Voices are Heard
Grass roots organizations, large scale political rallies, and non-profit organizations can all get their messages to the public. Technology means that voices are heard and initiatives can be created, communicated, and expanded upon around the globe.
Predictable Results and Data Tracking
Polls, which are generally expressed as a sample of voters, are used to extrapolate information. The data tracking and compiling the information, the results are incredibly accurate. So much so that politicians often concede, or announce a win, before all the votes have been counted.
Technology has changed the way we access information. It’s altered how we perceive and build political movements, and it’s even changed how we follow political campaigns. As the next election gets closer, it’ll be interesting to watch how technology supports, and perhaps detracts, from the political system and how we vote.