Don’t take it personal on social media
Over the past few years social media certainly has changed the way we interact with people.
One time you had to rely on postal mail or the telephone to contact people. These days you can email someone and they got it in seconds.
Facebook and Twitter have also changed the way we interact. Was a time after high school you wouldn’t see any of your high school friends anymore. Not now as since 2007 I, and many others, have been able to keep up to date with high school friends and other people we haven’t seen in years.
Twitter also allows us to keep up to date with our favorite celebrities and interact with them. I’ve interacted with people from one of my favourite TV shows, something I’d never be able to do without social media.
Politics is no different. Over the past number of years a lot of our provincial MHAs have gotten Facebook and Twitter accounts. It’s a great tool to keep up to date with your MHA or in my case, most of them. Of the 47 MHA’s currently in the House of Assembly I’m Facebook friends with 30 of them and am followed on Twitter by a few of them as well. It means a lot to me that they would add me to their Facebook and Twitter and allows for some great interaction.
Unless a person is being extremely nasty to you, you don’t block them or remove them from Facebook.
Still, there are problems that sometimes arise. Being a politician carries with it some responsibility. While most MHA’s conduct themselves accordingly, you get the odd MHA who removes people from Twitter. I’ve had one MHA who I won’t name remove me from Facebook because I criticized the Liberal party. To me, I criticize the party, I don’t criticize none of them on a personal level. I’ve also had a Liberal candidate block me from Twitter because I asked her about Liberal policy.
To me those two incidents go against getting a Facebook and Twitter account and being a politician in the first place. You serve the people. Unless a person is being extremely nasty to you, you don’t block them or remove them from Facebook. Especially when I’ve struck up a pretty good friendship with another Liberal candidate over the past two years.
Also, when I asked a question to another Liberal candidate I got a very well thought out and detailed response. Those two handle social media the right way and I’m always glad to hear from them. I’ve also interacted with a few other Liberal MHA’s who know my politics but still welcome my viewpoints.
Also in the federal election this year I’ve asked candidates in all 338 ridings their thoughts on issues facing those with disabilities. While I didn’t hear from all candidates I did hear back from a nice few, it was good to hear back from them.
So yes, social media is a great thing and a big part of the 21st century and being an MHA and politician today, it’s how you handle it that matters.