This Friday American history will be made as Donald Trump is inaugurated as our 45th President of the United States. Whether you love him or hate him, there's a bigger controversy at hand-- is Twitter the future for the American government?
President Trump has the opportunity to make groundbreaking history if he continues to use Twitter as his means of communication with the American people. But, is a 140-word proclamation of the passing of bills or investment market issues a better alternative to a traditional press conference?
Social media is our most prevalent form of communication and President Trump has the opportunity to continue creating a hybrid between politics and the virtual domain. He can easily change the face of politics if he continues to utilize Twitter as a part of his platform to state his position on various issues. However, these infamous Donald Trump tweets are a double-edged sword. His, commonly controversial tweets, causes the American people to react quickly. But, it isn't just the citizens on Twitter creating an opinion about his tweet, the news media reacts as well, causing a dual interpretation and inference to occur and perhaps cause even more conflict over a 140 character message.
As Trump begins his presidency will he turn to Twitter to inform the US about the passing of bills, or will traditional speeches and press conferences hold precedent over one of today's most well-known social media platforms? Or will he find a way to do both? Will we create a government by Twitter?
Many presidents have used technology to communicate directly with American citizens, but no president has used it in the same capacity Trump has. President Obama used social media, including Twitter (@POTUS) but with the means of reaching out to the public directly to instill confidence in the ever changing legislation.
Shortly after Trump was elected he stated, "I'm going to do very restrained, if I use it at all, I'm going to do very restrained," in an interview on 60 Minutes about his Twitter account. Since November 11, Trump has sent out 315 tweets...I'm not so sure how "restrained" that is. Now, however, members of Trump's staff is saying that rather than cutting back on tweeting, Trump will use Twitter to avoid the filter of mainstream media.
Throughout his presidency, Trump plans to continue using Twitter to communicate with the public, but hopefully he won't completely rule out the press conference. While quick communication and direct information from our nation's president is all the American people long for, we would prefer to hear it come from the president's mouth, not his cell phone.
As President Trump inherits the official presidential account at the end of this week, we pray he uses this account to spark a conversation with the American people without it being filtered through the mainstream media, and that he can speak truth to power on America's social media platform.
I'm going to say, "out with the old and in with the new" is not the way we want our information coming from President Trump this upcoming term.