Social Media doesn’t rule the City…or I’d have a cape

Soooooo, now that the Red Deer election is over I’m going to comment. I kept my mouth shut and bit my tongue a LOT which if you know me at all, you know I struggle with that. I’m not a resident of the City of Red Deer (I’m Red Deer County) so here is an outside looking in perspective of what I saw go down.

Twitter and facebook were insane. Good gawd people, I’m ALLLLLL about social media, love it (most days) but would it really be a deciding factor for who would make the best leaders for a community? Ya, ya, I get it, it’s a great way to communicate to the people but let’s remember our Red Deer twitter community is not full representation of the entire city. You can tell me there are 1,000 Red Deer tweeps, but how many of those are active? How many of those interact with candidates or even follow them? Not enough to win an election. Not yet anyway. We are still a small crew in the grand scheme of things.

Being on social media does not mean that person is transparent. FAR from it. You can be whoever you want to be on twitter! I’ve seen it…it sometimes makes me sick to see the phoniness of some trying to come across as kind do-gooders when what they do behind the computer is far, far different.

I saw tweets of people calling out candidates because they hadn’t responded to a tweet within 24 hours of them sending it. Really?? REALLY? Come on. And candidates being cut down for not participating on a facebook group page. Maybe they are out in your community actually DOING things. Or maybe their child is sick and they could care less about twitter or a facebook post at that moment. Or maybe their internet crashed. Using that to discredit them is unfair and immature.

I love the twitter and yes, even facebook…but let’s get real here people. It’s not face-to-face, eye contact, connection and honesty. It is whatever the user chooses to make it.

Perspective. Our small community doesn’t rule the City. But if we did…we might want to consider group capes.


6 replies
  1. Anne Marie
    Anne Marie says:

    Great post, Brenda, and I totally want a cape.

    I agree that not everyone is on, or needs to be on, social media. But if you’re going to run for public office, and social media is going to be part of your strategy, starting a Twitter account two months before the election isn’t good enough. Building your social media credibility is a long process, built through meaningful engagement over time. It’s not instantaneous. Put some meaningful thought into your social media presence.

    And, Twitter has a long memory. Tweeting inappropriate things one day, then running for elected office the next (after deleting the inappropriate tweets) is a really bad idea. See the story of newly elected trustee James Andre for an example of how NOT to do social media, if you plan to run for public office.

    • Brenda
      Brenda says:

      Agreed Anne Marie, I think the part that irritated me most is that just because a candidate is not on social media and replying to your every post, does not make them a poor choice. They may be the ones out there door to door meeting people face to face…it’s really their choice on how to market themselves. The idea that twitter/facebook is a requirement doesn’t sit well with me.

  2. BJ
    BJ says:

    Absolutely love this post, Brenda! I think that social media is fabulous launching pad for exchange, meeting people and introducing ideas. However, being in the world, doing the work and building relationships face-to-face will always have the most meaningful and lasting results.
    I find that the “courage” some people get from the anonymity of social media sometimes leads to bullying. In my opinion, this says more about the person who is posting rather than (in this case) the candidate.


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