Under social media pressure
The pressure on today’s deputies is intense. Elsewhere in this newspaper Peter Ferbrache calls for fewer of them, and it is argued that while some – Deputy Ferbrache as head of Policy & Resources for one – work very hard and long in politics, others nowadays don’t do much to justify picking up the best bit of £40k a year.
But in the week when Facebook turns 20, we recognise the extra pressure that social media brings on our politicians could certainly be a factor for anyone considering entering the political bear pit.
It’s interesting that in a column yesterday, the political and the politically-interested both seemed keener to promote the good side of social media – the ability to reach, and engage with, the masses with your unedited views – rather than the bad side – the constant criticism at best, allegations of wrongdoing at worst.
It takes guts in the first place simply not to look for those notifications, inviting trouble. To ‘carry on communicating’, waiting for the trolls to get bored and move on, takes a level of bottle that most who haven’t been in the spotlight just can’t comprehend.
It’s good to see that Women in Public Life is prepared to offer advice on handling social media to potential candidates. If we want to see more deputies engaging on social media in future, it’s advice that would be valuable to many more.