Twitter Discourse as a Platform for Modern Politics Twitter Discourse as a Platform for Modern Politics
BY EDITORIAL BOARD In an increasingly digitized world, it seems Twitter has risen to the forefront of youth culture – and, all things considered,... Twitter Discourse as a Platform for Modern Politics

BY EDITORIAL BOARD

In an increasingly digitized world, it seems Twitter has risen to the forefront of youth culture – and, all things considered, it’s a pretty powerful tool.

But it’s about time we discuss what it means to approach 21st century communications with tact and skill, especially in the wake of what you may want to call the oddest political climate of our generation.

In response to modern political and social issues (i.e. Black Lives Matter, the Planned Parenthood debate, etc.), it seems Twitter has taken on an identity all its own as a platform rife with commentary. While it’s rare to find a politically charged post on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, Twitter has become a sort of political frontline.

Affiliation aside, modern trends in Twitter discourse have, contrary to popular belief, been integral in forming the new wave of political activists.

Citation: #woke. The phrase itself has its roots in the mid 20th century as an acknowledgement or awareness of structural oppression against the black community, but, like most things on Twitter, it has taken on a whole new meaning. With activists such as DeRay McKesson using the #woke Twitter community to further their own political ends (McKesson’s campaign for mayor of Baltimore was essentially fueled by his Twitter, despite his eventual loss), it’s a starting space for tomorrow’s leaders.

With one hashtag and four letters, an entire population of impassioned thinkers have put boots on the ground in their freedom fight.

This trend is bigger than Black Lives Matter – bigger than liberals and conservatives, and bigger, even, than Donald Trump. This trend is the creation of tomorrow’s Reince Priebus and Elizabeth Warren.

We’re not saying that Twitter is the end-all-be-all of modern politics; quite to the contrary, the political sphere is so much larger and more daunting than a 140 character rant. But all action starts in theory, and that’s exactly what Twitter is best at. Twitter brings opposing ideas into conversation with each other, without censorship, and Twitter gives every 16-year-old free-thinker their very first soap box.

But, we can’t have the Twitter activism conversation without mention of fake news. So yes, be wary of fiction posing as fact, but a little research and critical thinking can generally debunk falsehoods.

In truth, Twitter can be a melting pot of ideas that create a unique culture. It’s the think tank of the 21st century, but there are no admission requirements. There’s a free flow of ideas and allegiances, and, if used responsibly, Twitter is the first debate space for tomorrow’s leaders.

Photo courtesy of Twitter