“Social Media is Changing the Way We Communicate”

Russ Steele

The title is of this post is often a refrain used by our local lefty blogger. I would have to agree, even though I am not much of a social media user. Here is an example from Power Line this morning on how conservative are using social media, in this case Twitter:

We are in the early stages of the 2012 campaign season, with a lot of battlespace preparation going on. In the skirmishing so far, one perhaps surprising media advantage has become clear: the right is clobbering the left on Twitter.

Maybe it’s because Twitter puts a premium on brevity and cleverness. I don’t know. But for some reason, it seems to be a natural medium for conservatives. We saw it when the Hilary Rosen interview (“Ann Romney never worked a day in her life”) prompted a Twitterstorm. We saw it again when #ObamaEatsDogs exploded, and when #Julia blew up in the White House’s face like an exploding cigar. Currently, the White House is promoting #AskMichelle, where loyal Democrats can go to ask the First Lady a question. Only nearly all of the questions have come from conservatives. A sampling:

  • When you vacation in Hawaii, can you see the rise of the oceans beginning to slow?
  • What’s up this week for the @BarackObama campaign and “Operation Change the Subject” (to anything except the economy)?
  • Do you still exchange May Day cards with Bill and Bernadette?
  • Do you think your daughters should request affirmative actions preferences?
  • Do you still get Christmas cards from the Rezkos and Blagojeviches?
  • So who succeeded you at that critical, highly important $300k/year community outreach job at UC hospital?
  • I have several friends who specialize in relocation. Shall I give them your number so they can help you relocate in January?


They go on and on. You almost feel sorry for the White House. They’re going to have to either do a better job of mobilizing their supporters on Twitter, or abandon the medium altogether.

As a Conservative, maybe I need to start paying more attention to Twitter!


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

8 Responses to “Social Media is Changing the Way We Communicate”

  1. RL Crabb says:

    I thought family was off-limits. Now if I was to email Laura Bush and say “Hey Laura, feel guilty about that person you killed in the auto accident?” You’d all have a stroke. Happy Mother’s Day.

  2. Arthur M. Day. says:

    A fine example of the selective amnesia troubling Devout Democrats. RL Crabb, does the name Kopechne stir anything in your brain?

    • RL Crabb says:

      Really? I thought we were talking about the President’s family. Democrat? I gave up on those years ago. Like Republicans.

    • Michael Anderson says:

      Mr. Day, when I read your comment I thought immediately of my two 20-something sons. They don’t know anything about Mary Jo Kopechne, or Laura Bush’s accident, and I want to keep it that way.

      More and more I am convinced that the only way the 1960s American Civil War will recede into history is when those of us who were on the front lines recede into the obituary pages.

      The hate for Obama is the same hate those on the left felt for Nixon and Reagan. It’s an irrational hate, born from a terrible war long ago. How sad is this country.

  3. RL Crabb says:

    I have no ax to grind with Laura Bush, and I only use her as an example of how low the national conversation has sunk. There used to be one of those unwritten laws that a President’s family was off limits to the usual mud slinging in campaigns. You could say there were exceptions to the rule when a first lady injected herself into public policy, like Hillary Clinton and maybe to a lesser extent, Nancy Reagan. But for the most part, Michelle Obama has stuck to the traditional role of a first wife, encouraging children to eat healthy and get a good education.
    It doesn’t take much searching on the net to find right wing sites that compare the Obama family to apes, or comment that Michelle is “butt-ugly.” I can’t recall that there was ever such vitriol leveled at Laura Bush or her daughters. It only proves to me that conservatives can be as scummy as the Democrats. It appears that first families have lost their untouchable status, along with Ronald Reagan’s eleventh commandment.
    This fall, I will be joining the 1% that chooses to reject both parties. Doesn’t matter much, without any pragmatic politicians left, we all lose anyway.

    • What is apparent to me is there is nothing sacred anyymore regarding people or institutions. I saw this at age 14 with the “Daisy” commercial LBJ aired once against Goldwater. As a history buff I recall reading about Andrew Jackson and the attacks onhim and his wife. Very nasty, very personal. But now that we have Obama trying to inject himself in local issues all the time, he has to epect blowback from those that think it is inappropriate for him to do so. I as a conservative abhor anyone who uses racist, nasty personal attacks aginst anyone. If those websites exist that attack Obama as anything less than human then sn
      hame on them and I hope they fade to obscurty ASP. But, the First Amendment is there to allow he speech we don’t like since throughout history the KING did not allow anyone the right to be critical of him/her without a beheading. So as much as I hate the crap speech of some nuts, left or right, I have to support their right to speak without fear of beheading.

      The difference between Laura Bush’s accident at 17 and Teddy Kennedy’s “accident” at Chappaquiddick is night and day and don’t belong n the same sentence or story. Shame on the use of them as a comparison.

  4. Dena says:

    While it may be a way to reach the young, I find problems with electronic communication and complex subjects. When I have to do product support with email, it’s almost like people make an effort to misunderstand you. It would be even worst if you limited yourself to the one line of text or twitter. Telephone is far better because you get the give and take but nothing beats being there in person so you can see that deer in the headlight look on there face when you have gone beyond their understanding level.
    If you use text or twitter, you need to keep it simple so the entire concept can be contained in one message even if the topic is new to the reader. This would exclude complex topics on short message media.

  5. Arthur M. Day. says:

    We are designed for face to face conversation. Much of communication is non-verbal. Including but not limited to: Face and body language and voice tonality and emphasis. The telephone therefore deteriorates communication, all the rest just increase the degradation.
    By the way: George Orwell said that freedom of speech means nothing unless it includes the freedom to tell people what they don’t want to hear.

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