Politicians aren’t normal people. There’s nothing wrong with that, it takes an unusual person to climb the greasy pole of politics. The skill set required to advance within a political party includes personal qualities that often aren’t helpful when it comes to interacting with other humans. The problem is that moral vacuums and a predisposition to backstabbing aren’t conducive to endearing you to the general public.
For years politicians have got round the problem of connecting with people by employing a public relations army to provide a firewall between themselves and the media. It’s a strategy that’s been working for years, but the wind of social media has started to erode this carefully-manicured facade. Politicians are now on board with all the mainstream social media platforms, but the tweets and YouTube uploads of most politicians feel like they were conceived round a committee table.
But where some struggle to adapt, others charge forward into the brave new world, keen to show that they’re down with the kids. The bravest of these is U.S. Senator Rand Paul, who has just signed up for Snapchat, the limited-time photo-sharing app that was once derided as a sexting tool for teenagers, but is now going mainstream.
Did you hear? I joined @Snapchat! For daily updates & behind-the-scenes footage follow: senatorrandpaul. I’m sending my first snap tonight.
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) January 15, 2014
He explained his level-headed choice for joining snapchat in a Vine.
Is this a brave new paradigm of self-destructing politician-to-human communication? Will it finally help politicians communicate with the public in a way that makes them look normal? I Snapchatted Rand Paul to find out.
First I sent Senator Paul a Snapchat to check things were working.
It was satisfying to see that the Senator saw my message.
I decided to try and build a rapport with the Senator.
I was pleased to see Senator Paul viewed my second message and decided to try and engage in some meaningful chit-chat with him.
Sadly, at the time of writing, Rand Paul has yet to see my last message. Maybe this “Snapchatting a politician” thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.