The First Digital President: Trump and his Tweets

This article will not discuss the pros or cons of any of President Trump’s policies.

This blog will discuss the fascinating impact of a President that tweets his feelings, inclinations and possibly inferences to his policy preferences. In a nutshell we are not ready, we are not even able, to cope with the speed with which information is coming from the presidents Twitter account.

Several times a day a new Tweet is posted and literally the world is turned-over again. Before Trump came to office we would all have to wait for the press briefing. We would wait to browse the headlines of our favorite news site. We might wait for the 6 o’clock news. We might even browse the newspapers.  

But now, three or more times day, everything turns upside down. You could even subscribe to the presidents Twitter feed and join in the turmoil. Media outlets, political junkies, other nations are all on edge as every nuance and implication is explored with outdated tools and perspectives as one tweet follows another. The use of big data, reportedly a key to Obama’s first victory was a digital innovation. Trump and his Tweets is another.

We should factor in the nature of which such digital communication is being used. It would seem that the tweets themselves are not carefully, developed and totally thought through messages. Equally they are not random thoughts of a madman. Whatever they are (and some of you will assume they are rants of a mad man or deeply held beliefs and policy guidelines), the speed with which such communications protrude from the White House are breathtaking.

The entire political and press establishment are running at a hundred miles a hour 24×7. And I mean 24×7 since Trump might tweet at 2am. I actually love his energy and enthusiasm. But can our systems survive this onslaught?

I find now that watching the TV in the evening a waste of time. Channels that lean left or right are out of date. They try to analyze (if we are lucky) the day’s news yet a new tweet reverses everything. The radio channels are as out of date and as unable to keep up. Newspapers are getting to be very boring. 

The torrent and speed of new information is not yet displacing channels and reporters from the past era. But perhaps we need to rethink the system. Even the briefing room of the White House seems to be a circus. They spend their time trying to understand a tweet and are missing the real news. It really is a major challenge.

Maybe we need a new digital news system that leaves televisions and traditional media sources behind. Maybe we need a purely digital platform that can parse tweets and merge them into the panoply of policy and White House edicts. We need news reporters to report the news with a big (data) lens.  

As it stands few are able to understand let alone put a tweet into perspective. The result is the left and right spend their time arguing over trifles and nothing is actually analyzed or concluded before the next tweet arrives and the dance starts anew. It’s breathtaking, and getting boring. The problem is not with the tweets: it is just a medium. The problem is with our news reporting system of press briefings, television and media pundits: they and it are out of date and not able cope with the new medium.

Whatever your feelings concerning President Trump, you have to acknowledge he is effecting change on many levels.

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