Social media will play vital role in General Election

Jane Binnion
Jane Binnion

On Friday I ran a session on social media and the election for the loveliest group of Lancaster people.

For the first time social media is playing a big role in the General Election.

Young people are pretty unimpressed with the whole political game playing, but that’s different to apathy.

Certainly voters are on social media, as are political journalists and there‘s a lot of sharing going on, but I may have misjudged the level of understanding amongst the political parties themselves.

I work pretty much full time in social media and it can be easy to forget that a lot of the UK adult population are still very nervous about it all.

And of course many people standing for local election hold down full time jobs and just do not have the time to learn the ins and outs of social media.

So now my conclusion is that this election will be played out on social media, but not equally across the country.

That will be the next one.

Considering that Obama used social media brilliantly as part of his campaign strategy back in 2008, this does show how far behind we are with our digital skills.

During Friday’s session the issue of young people’s political apathy was raised.

Personally I don’t think it’s true.

Young people are pretty unimpressed with the whole political game playing, but that’s different to apathy.

When I was a kid it looked like you couldn’t go into politics until you retired, so we were less engaged, but things are changing.

With our new communication tools and the demand for greater transparency, young people are seeing and hearing what goes on in Parliament and the behaviour of our politicians is pretty uninspiring.

Just take the absenteeism, jeering and name calling alone, if that behaviour went on in school they would all get detention and certainly wouldn’t be going on the end of year school trip.

With just nine weeks to go, things will start to get heated on social media and we can expect to see some silly mistakes.

I was surprised to see that the paid manager of a local, non-political, member’s organisation declared her political colours on twitter this week.

I’m pretty sure that hasn’t been thought through and it will be interesting to see what happens next.

Have a great week and keep safe online.