As I sit here watching the Republican National Convention, I'm also watching my Twitter and Plurk streams, just as I had for the Democratic National Convention. While the speeches by Obama, McCain, Palin, Biden, etc are all well-written, crowd-raising (well...most of them), my social media feeds are feeding me the facts. So I ask,
Is social media making US citizens more aware of our political system and our responsibilities to participate and vote?
I have to be honest...in all fairness, I voted in the last presidential election for the first time in my life (I'm 30, so I've skipped voting a number of times). Because of Twitter, and YouTube, I got out, researched the candidates, and voted in my state's primary. I've listened when people talk about politics instead of saying, " I refuse to discuss politics with people.". And, for the first time in my life, I've sat through both parties' conventions.
I've learned about each candidates views on education, the environment, the economy, and our safety. I've kept track of Obama via his Twitter account. It feels like ages ago, but I even visited Edwards' and Obama's campaign sites in Second Life!
While I can't possibly claim to be a political expert, activist, or even enthusiast...with the help of social media, I can now consider myself a citizen who is doing their civic duty and right to vote.