About a year or so ago I was with a friend who is a former consultant for the Labour party. We were discussing the idea that one day social media would essentially replace the traditional government setup. In hindsight I think that we were a lot more right than we figured we would be as Social Media has gone from sharing cat photos and itineraries of our shit lives to actually making serious impacts on the world of politics.
I’m not talking about people sharing posts about Cameron having sex with a pig (which isn’t surprising but is very comical) i’m referring to the petitions, campaigns and viral posting frenzies that have led to changes we wouldn’t see if we were writing to our MPs on the matter instead of taking to social media. A recent online petition for the production sale and legal use of cannabis has now led to the matter due to be discussed in the House of Commons.
It isn’t that long ago that the idea of public opinion online could or would have an actual impact on what the government discuss, but here it is. Sadly they are still ignoring petitions relating to the expenses scandal or tax evasion or corrupt banks and stuff like that but hey it’s a start!
We are seeing more and more situations like this where people are coming together online and sharing their combined views through a single outlet until it gets noticed. Finally a constructive use of social media, I care less about anyone’s day to day life less than I care about mine and that’s about zero anyway so seriously I don’t need to see this crap. But yeah, campaigns and petitions and stuff are much better. I highly approve.
We’re seeing people get free housing, refugees getting aid that’s been gathered via online campaigns, missing people are being found or reunited with loved ones. All this stuff makes me almost happy to be human.
It’ll be interesting to see if this new style of coming together grows and improves because if it does then the government are going to have to start taking online discussions and whatnot a lot more seriously.