AOC should be careful about her online presence

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AOC should be careful about her online presence

Michelle Kumar, Opinions Columnist

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The dramatic shift in our political climate because of the new Congress and the way campaigns were run in 2018. The demographic composition of the House of Representatives is younger and far more diverse than it has been in years. This is largely due in part to the appeal many candidates created through new marketing strategies on social media. While I am completely here for this more approachable image Washington is getting, I can’t help but think that too much change too quickly won’t end well for the new members of Congress.

An example of this shift is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. If you follow Twitter culture, you’ll notice new lingo that most congresspeople wouldn’t even go near. However, when connecting with members of a younger generation, it’s important to understand that the best way to connect with them and secure their support is to communicate in a way they feel comfortable with and understand. Ocasio-Cortez does exactly this.

When Rashida Tlaib called the president a not-so-nice word and got bashed for being unprofessional, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her support. In the tweet, she said “sis” in reference to Tlaib, which nowadays is a very common and casual word. Instantly, I felt like I could connect with her. This feeling was mutual all across Twitter — young people finally felt represented.

My only caution is that while this new young wave of congresspeople is headstrong and wanting to make change, we can’t forget who still runs Washington. Congress and the political sphere is still heavily dominated by older, white men. I am all for change and making Congress look and sound more like the average American, but constantly pushing the boundaries is eventually going to make some very powerful people angry. Whatever change that has come about could be stopped dead in its tracks. The use of social media is a very effective tool to reach your constituents, but somewhere along the road, you have to find the balance of being relatable and being professional to match the office you hold. The line hasn’t been crossed yet, but politicians’ social-media use will either help them or be the end of them (see: Steve King).

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