August 18, 2015 Leave a comment
Just a quick ramble ..
I’ve often thought (not arrogantly you understand) that I’d quite fancy being a politician – probably in Wales, because through the regional list system it is at least in theory easier to get elected if you are in the top half of your party’s list (I recognise there’s a few caveats to my previous statement) – and heaven forbid, I might even be alright at it.
But then I snap out of my reverie and realise that there’s pretty much zero chance of me being selected as a candidate (if I were to join a party) and then being elected. Why you ask? Well in my opinion, it’s simple – I’ve got a digital footprint covering Hotmail, Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, 9Gag, WordPress and numerous other places across the internet. Certainly I know my Twitter has been around since 2007 and Facebook since at least 2005/6.
Why is this a problem?
That is between seven and eight year’s worth of ammunition that opponents, the media or just people in general can look up, research and throw at me if they want. There have been a few stories recently of people who have Tweeted or blogged in haste and then have had to repent pretty hastily too. I actually read today about another candidate whose undoubtedly quick and unthinking Facebook comment actually made it onto page 2 of Wales’ national newspaper.
I can’t recall every Tweet I’ve posted (for the record it is north of 12,000) and I feel certain that somewhere along the line there will be something (or more than likely a few things) that:
- I’m not proud of
- I probably shouldn’t have posted
- Could cause me embarrassment / be the source of a damaging news story
- Would identify be as being in opposition to a party policy or position
Why does this matter? Well in my view, my digital footprint is probably not that different from other people of my generation, but it is likely smaller than people younger than me. This means that, in my opinion, a contributing factor to some people not getting involved in politics could be that they are or maybe concerned about what could get dug up about them from the internet.
Is it going to be a massive factor for huge amounts of people? Probably not. Could it be putting off people from entering politics? Probably yes.