Such reliance on technology is becoming the norm for Congress as a whole; social media tools, e-newsletters, and telephonic town hall meetings allow politicians to connect with their supporters and constituencies at the press of a button. Sanders believes social media will remain the contact option of choice in the coming years: “It is clear to me that things like Facebook and Twitter are here to stay.”
According to a survey of 250 staffers by the Congressional Management Foundation, a nonprofit that advises lawmakers on citizen engagement practices, Twitter and Facebook are more useful for putting across a lawmaker’s point of view rather than for deciphering the opinions of their constituents.
Ian Koski, communications director for Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), sums up the worth of social media by praising its reach: “You have to go where the people are, and right now, they're in many different places online.”
Does your local lawmaker make the most of the social media tools available to them? What social media practices should politicians avoid, if any?