“Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have.”
I had the pleasure of talking to an “Americans for Liberty” group about the use of social networking in political activism. I’m no spring chicken, but I am the youngest of this group. These are gun-totin’ grannies and granpops, and you would be foolish to infringe on their unalienable rights. It is fun to put out a flash email clarion call to these high-octane Patriots if, for example, MoveOn.org is staging a protest at the office of our Congressman. They gather in the pre-planned place wearing their red shirts, carrying their homemade signs, with fanny packs girdling their waists. Many of them have concealed-carry permits, so the contents of the fanny packs are at question. They look like a cadre of cruisegoers with major attitude. You don’ want to mess with these golden-agers, but if you’re on their side you will be very safe.
My challenge was to de-mystify “social media” and Internet applications such as Twitter and FaceBook. I’ll do Tumbler, Linked-in, Stumbleupon, and Reddit next time. I can identify with the consternation of the generation who used slide rules to do calculations that now take us a nanosecond to complete. I’ve always been bewildered by burgeoning new technologies. I was at one time philosophically opposed to cell phones; my rationale being that it is simply rude to be on the phone at all times during the course of the day. Then I got a cell phone and discovered that I could manage my home, four kids, my classroom, and my social life from anywhere in the world. This is how I presented Social Networking as a Force in Political Activism:
What are the advantages of Social Networking?
Near instantaneous sharing of information
The exponential spread of information
Significant breaking news often gives you the opportunity to sway policy decisions one way or another
Variety of websites that encourage transparency such as:
And you can follow reference links provided within the article in question.
Accountability: lightening-fast information sharing and millions of eyes checking and re-checking that information holds both the citizen “Paul Reveres” and the politicians and other cultural figures at high standards of veracity and good conduct. Think Anthony Weiner and Joe Biden.
Nothing is hidden so Conservatives must unequivocally be moral, professional, and well reasoned citizens. The rule of thumb is: Once something is uploaded on the Internet in an email, attachment, Tweet or YouTube video, the cat is out of the bag and it will never go back inside.
How to make the most of Twitter:
Create a persona that is based on your personality but emphasizes your areas of greatest interest
Use keywords in your profile to attract specific kinds of followers, i.e. Conservative, Liberty, 2nd Amendment, GOP, Tea Party, Patriot, Constitution, Libertarian, Pro-life, etc.
Use humor in your profile and in your tweets.
Use sarcasm but keep it clean.
Tweet one short thought or comment at a time. You can tweet as often and as quickly as you want .
Go ahead and vent. Twitter followers like people who speak their minds are are forceful.
Follow many people of like interests, follow back when groups and people you like follow you.
Tweet as often as possible.
Participate in hash tag games such as #obamabirthdaygames and #improvemovietitlesbyaddinginmypants.
Link to breaking news, interesting articles, favorite websites and blogs, and always add an interesting comment.
When people ReTweet and Message you be sure to reply with a quick thank you.
Thank people when they follow you.
Be patient, if you use Twitter regularly your following and influence will grow.
Making the Most of FaceBook:
Update your status daily if possible.
Post pictures that are of interest to your friends such as political events, or inspirational subjects.
Make fun of yourself.
Post jokes and funny pictures.
Friend FaceBook suggestions. You can tell whether or not you can trust a new friend by the number of mutual friends you share.
Friend influential people in your locale, state, and on the national level, especially if they share your focus.
Accept friend requests of people who look legitimate.
Block or unfriend people who try to drag you into uncivil debates.
Always be polite in discussions and use good grammar.
Check articles and websites before you share.
Read articles and posts before you comment.
Post the contact information of politicians.
Check your FaceBook wall daily and act quickly when the opportunity to sway political opinion arises.
Be charming, funny, and most of all, Patriotic.
This is a primer for those just getting acquainted with the power of social networking. We live in an era where the fabric of Liberty is literally made of millions of electronic threads woven together by the ideas that unite us as Patriots. We can weave that fabric into a durable and fire-proof tapestry, but we need to know how to use the loom. That loom is Social Networking.