Social Media and the Government Shutdown

Oct 8, 2013

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Although there have been over fifteen government shutdowns in the past forty years, this year’s government shutdown has drawn more attention than most shutdowns. The simple factor that distinguishes this year’s shutdown is social media. Social media has provided continued insight into the progress (and non-progress) of the current shutdown situation, making the status of the shutdown more readable to the average American citizen, specifically through the social platform of Twitter.

The individual Twitter accounts of members of congress and other government officials (including President Obama @BarackObama) have made the individual opinions of congress members available to the public. In addition to giving Americans more insight into the situation in Washington, social media has also given Americans more access to expressing their own opinions. By following and adding to some of the trending hashtags (#GOPshutdown #teapartyshutdown #justvote), the voices of average Americans have been heard more than they could have in any similar situation of the past.

So if you’re looking to learn more about the current status of the shutdown, make Twitter a priority stop. (And if you’re looking for some comic relief, check out the trending hashtag #ShutdownPickupLines and join fellow tweeters in having a little fun in the meantime!)

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