With election fever in the air and the countdown towards the local and general elections there seems to be an eruption of activities on social networking sites, the likes of facebook and twitter just to name a few. I mention those two as I am guilty of indulging in such personally, and leading even to my own election campaign as a conservative local government candidate for the May 6 election.
While at the same time recognising the positives of such networkmg sites which I must say have connected me to my former school mates in Jamaica who I have not communicated with for over 20 years is indeed a phenomenon. However we are now informed in the papers today of it’s negatives via the Metro, thanks to a colleague who passes through the city daily and always let me have my personal copy, cool. The paper stated that major research has concluded that we should be warned of web addiction. It is claimed that spending too much time online may leave you depressed, according to the first major study into the effects of web use on mental health. I am now thinking and shudder at the thought that twittering and using facebook on the phone may contribute to the addiction process as in technical terms we could always be permanently online. Now that is a question that need to be answered when exactly are we online? , and are we always online?
Nevertheless, just as how the smoker is not dissuaded by a gruesome picture on a packet of cigarette, of which I am not one as I have never, and will never ever smoke. I would say also that the ardent and enthusiastic fans of facebook and twitter won’t stop just now.
Without a doubt election campaigns will benefit from this new phenomena which took us by storm politically during the campaign and success of President Barack Obama being elected to the Whitehouse. I am of the firm view that social networking sites when in partnership with actual election campaign on the field, physically getting the message out whether by canvassing and leafleting can only be an added bonus. I say this because there is so much one can do in a 24 hour day, but when multiplied with the effect of social networking sites, then, the sky is unlimited but first the message has got to be sound and on the ground first.
© February 2010