There seems to be a bit of a variance in the number of voters who turned out for the 2012 elections in the USA. On average, approximately 126,000,000 people voted in 2012. That is a fact give or take a few thousand to cover my butt. Considering there are 206,072,000 people eligible to vote in this great country, I am not impressed by this number. Let’s not go down that road. We will just keep it simple for today.
There are approximately 170,000,000 active monthly Facebook users aged 18 and older. Do the math and this means that there are more people interested in what their friends are doing than are interested in the workings of their own country. Pitiful at best but again I leave digging in that ditch for a sidebar conversation.
Being someone who likes to implement improvement to make life easier and more streamlined let us pause and do a “pie in the sky” for a moment. What if we were able to participate in the voting process via Facebook? What if some creative person in this world of apps created an app for Facebook that allowed real-time voting. Now I realize there would be a fair amount of work and development involved but let’s just say someone looking for a little convenience or even less glorious fame, took the time to make it all work right. We are not going to delve into the actual reality of whether or not this is possible. For the sake of this post we will just assume it is in fact possible and plausible.
So on that assumption, let’s think about it for a moment. The first line of conveniences could include:
- We wouldn’t have to leave our homes
- We wouldn’t have to get dressed
- We would not “run into” anyone that we would like to avoid
- We could possibly watch real-time statistics
- We would save more than a few trees
One of the more interesting benefits might include a higher participation in the voting process. Could getting to the poles actually be the reason our voting turn out is rather low? It is a possibility, albeit what I believe is a remote one. We may also see very different decisions being made if more people were engaged. Would Obama actually be our current president if more of the registered voters took to the polls? Maybe.
I recall a line from the great movie “The American President” which describes people wanting leadership.
Lewis Rothschild (Michael J Fox): They don’t have a choice! Bob Rumson is the only one doing the talking! People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they’ll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They’re so thirsty for it they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand.
President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas): Lewis, we’ve had presidents who were beloved, who couldn’t find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don’t drink the sand because they’re thirsty. They drink the sand because they don’t know the difference.
The people making the decisions in this country are the ones who are actively involved. As this number of voters dwindles, the decisions become those of the active and engaged voters. Are they the right ones? Who is to say for sure. Many of these numbers could have their own agendas driving decisions. For a lack of nearly half of the American voting aged people who do not come to the polls, we are turning over the very process that we fought so hard to get because why? Because we are lazy and don’t feel like participating? Shame on all of you! We get out of this great process what we put in and we aren’t putting in the effort that we should be. We hands up and say that our vote doesn’t matter and then complain about the decisions being made! Stand up, step up and be part of the process! A head shaking frustrating situation at best but I for one get out there and do my due diligence on voting day.
Let us not stray too far from the point. My point is to wonder about how utilizing a resource such as Facebook would effect the voting turnout on election day. Since so many are willing to actively engage on social media, could we utilize that medium to strengthen the process that is one of the reasons that we are the great United States of America? I would venture to say yes just out of sheer curiosity. As social media is growing in its business use, why could it not also be better integrated in the process of growing and strengthening our great nation? It most certainly could. The right question is more likely to be whether or not we will choose to use it that way.
Is it feasible? Perhaps. Is it plausible? Maybe. Will it happen? I am not sure that in my lifetime we will see the days of voting via Facebook but doesn’t it make you think? Sure it does!