Using computer technology in political ways.

Essay by skyluvCollege, Undergraduate March 2004

download word file, 4 pages 4.3

Downloaded 58 times

Currently, the internet is used everywhere. People now

have a chance to connect with other parts of the world

more faster, easier way than before. Other than using

the internet as a main source of communicating with

friends and family, it can be used as a tool for

increasing citizen participation in politics.

On August 7 2003, Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that

he would run for California governor. Usually I am not

interested in politics, but since movie actor is

running for the governor, I became interested.

Television programs did not provide enough information

about Schwarzenegger. I wanted to know about his

background information, such as his previous

experience in politics. Not only I found information

from the internet, but I was able to interact with

other people who were interested in Schwarzenegger as

well. Online discussion forums, chat rooms and message

boards connected me to the world of politics.


internet certainly provides every details where

newspaper and television do not. Also, people are

allowed to share their opinions in an open

environment. Moreover, it is the next communication

tool that people will use more often. The internet

brings a positive social interaction in political

world by changing means of social interaction

previously not possible. It will enhance the

communication in today's society where it helps to

share ideas or opinions from a variety different of


The internet is a place where people can facilitate

political participation. For example, online

communication will have the potential to promote the

type of interaction

between voters and candidates. Also, the internet will

educate the candidates and perhaps close the gap

between politicians and the public. Sven Birkerts'

essay, "Homo virtualis," states that the internet has

a positive side:

I left my meeting with F. in a state of agitation. My

prior assumptions had been

tested, in some ways undermined, and I was confused

about my stand. Could on even have a stand on

something as vast and inchoate as the Net? I had to

concede that there was a good deal more energy and

life in these unseen places that I had at first

imagined - it was not all about nerds playing dungeon

games. Interchanges on the Net so clearly filled real

needs and brought diverse kinds of fulfillment.

Indeed, some of these sites were home to a passionate

and productive debate I rarely encountered ... IRL.


Birkerts is surprised that people actually share

opinions online. Her opinion relates to the idea of

increasing citizen participation for political issues

because some people actually do go online to discuss

about political issues, such as upcoming California

governor's election.

The internet has the capability to register and

transmit user's opinions quickly and effectively. By

using the internet, users can receive a degree of

empowerment that they have never had before. For

example, a well-known American television network,

Cable News Network (CNN), recently conducted survey

which candidates are suitable for California governor. This way people will get to have

a chance to pick the suitable candidate and indirectly

see who would be the best California governor. I

participated in a survey for California governor as

well. Although I do not live in California, I still


a chance to participate in a political event. The

internet therefore can guarantee equal access to

information for the individuals into network's that

will make real participatory discussion and debate

possible across great distances. An active and

informed citizen gathering information and expressing

opinions electronically is therefore can be achieved

through the internet. For example, the protest at the

World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle shows the

ability of the internet to help gather a serious group

of activists. Small groups of protestors coordinate

the Seattle demonstration primarily through e-mails

and linked websites. The protestors at Seattle reveal

that people actually use the internet as a form of a

communication tool.

Some people argue that the internet does not help

society in a political way. They say that most

internet users go online for purposes other than

politics. Other than engaging in political discussion

on the internet, people will use it for personal

communications and entertainment. But some people will

actually use the internet for interacting and sharing

ideas with others. Neil Postman's essay, "Virtual

Students, Digital Classroom," states:

As the discussion proceeds, important distinctions are

made among the different meaning of "belief," but at

some point it becomes far from asinine to speak of the

god of Technology - in the sense that people believe

technology works, that they rely on it, that it makes

promises, that they are bereft when denied access to it, that they are delighted when they are in its

presence, that for most people it

works in mysterious ways, that they condemn people who

speak against it, that they stand in awe of it and

that, in the "born again" mode, they will alter their

life-styles, their schedules, their habits and their

relationships to accommodate it. If this be not a form

of religious belief, what is? (968)

Postman could be correct , but not all people rely on

the technology do not do their work. People retrieve

information from the internet. They also interact with

other users so that they get various kinds of

opinions. For example, I go online forums to read what

people are thinking about California governor recall

election. I read messages replied by different people.

I do not have to be Californian to contribute my

opinion about California governor.

Computer technology has improved in recent years so

that people use it for communicating with friends or

family. But the internet has more purposes to it. It

brings people together for political issues. People

can actually share ideas from all around the world.

Also people who are already interested in politics can

engage in the online discussion forum. The internet

became powerful tool of communication because it has a

non-broadcasting and interactive communication mode so

that "propaganda" is not felt by the citizens.

Furthermore, there are more opportunities for

discussing opinions on political issues. If more

people use the internet as a means of sharing ideas,

the biased reaction toward the lack of social

interaction will change.

Works Cited

Linda H. Peterson, John C. Bereton and Joan E.

Hartman. The Norton Reader.

New York: Electra, 1997

Gatherings: WTO Perspective From Seattle. Main. Bob


Jan. 2000. Gatherings. 30 Sept. 2001


Schwarzenegger announces bid for governor. Main. Cable

News Network.

7 Aug. 2003. Cable News Network. 5 Oct. 2003


Q: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ?. Main. Google.

6 June. 2003. Google Answers. 5 Oct. 2003