The inauguration of President Donald J. Trump on Friday was met with a wide variety of responses. Some were hopeful that a political outsider taking the White House would change the political landscape and that he would “drain the swamp” like promised to do. Others feared that the new President policies and rhetoric could negatively affect their own safety and civil rights. This is the atmosphere in America today, and it has many people on social media debating the merits of Trumps proposals and speculating on the future of America under his administration. Others are attempting to send a message to the president in person, like the people involved in the Women’s March on Washington. Rallying together for a cause in such monumental numbers will likely have a major impact on the national conversation. It is much harder to ignore the masses of protesters than it is to ignore the more common but less successful activist movements on social media platforms.
Social media movements have the benefit of giving a voice to people from all over, especially people who would not have been able to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for travel and accommodations during the inauguration. It is unfortunate, however, that those movements rarely have the same impact as the “in person” ones. This may be because the people whom protesters intend to reach, the senators and congressmen, have an average age of 61 and 57 respectively. The men and women in our government did not grow up with social media and aren’t going to take it as seriously as they would a march or a phone call from their voters. I wonder though, If I might be completely wrong with this assumption as it concerns Donald Trump. Over the course of his entire campaign we saw him use social media, specifically Twitter, to his advantage. Since social media is his favorite tool, it may be that President Trump will be more aware of and attentive to what happens there.