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What’s happened to democracy? Okay, representative government is not under imminent threat, but it is changing in nature, no? The U.S. Presidential election has demonstrated that. Populist and nationalist perspectives are gaining momentum in many places around the world. The changes in global politics reflected in social media pre-date this election, but the influence seems particularly great here and now in the United States.

Social media outlets provide immediate focus on world events, so one wonders, what actual effect does ‘democratized’ communication have on such events? Further, is the current state of democratic government at all like what the visionaries envisioned a couple of centuries ago?

Social media as an information outlet is undeniably influencing how events are not only viewed and reported, but arguably how they emerge. All of this has created a firestorm of contrary perceptions of what should be going on, what is happening and what will happen.

Do wide-open social media communication channels give voice to things that were once held within us? Maybe so. The anonymous nature of the medium creates a place where controversial and taboo topics are given voice and visibility. This is how and when our base nature is exposed and our deepest feelings emerge. Many times, its not pretty. Its astounding how mean people have been to each other during the U.S. Presidential election! and equally shocking to see and read what is said around other traumatic world events. One would like to think otherwise, but the chasms that have been created between us by giving such feelings voice are frightening.

If this seems judgmental, think about it. Consider what we’ve seen in the U.S. election. In the ‘Brexit’ referendum. In the reaction to refugees fleeing war. We should be judged by our humanity. The latest impression? Not so good.

Q1) Do you think social media is a democratized communication medium? How so? or how not? #SMXChat

Q2) How do you think social media affects how events are ‘reported’? Is it a balanced, objective source of information, in your judgment? #SMXChat

Q3) Do think social media brings out the worst in us? Or the best in us? How and why? #SMXChat

Q4) How do you think using social media affects your interpretation/perception of events? #SMXChat

Q5) Do society and governments benefit, on balance, from citizens using social media? #SMXChat