Global effects of the Internet in changing Political Interactions

The internet has relentlessly transcended to both physical grounds and international borders, and has immensely changed the global political scene. The internet plays a huge role in the current information period, and has already opened new forms of interactions, while affecting the circulation of political power at the local, national, and international echelons. In some instances, it has blurred or even broken the logic behind the conventional means of bureaucratic organizations and the distribution of power. Recently, the internet has affected various political movements around the world in allowing rapid dissemination of information for the purpose of organizing insurgent actions, and in providing a fast and easy lobbying and recruitment exercise. In political scenarios, the internet allows people from different groups and backgrounds to extensively champion their cause with the aim of converting ideologies that may be holding contrasting opinions.

For instance, the 2008 presidential election in America was characterized by the enormous prevalence of internet use, as politicians and their supporters used social networking sites in order to reach and engage the civic world, which has a substantial youth presence. By using the internet, politicians were able to recruit members to their campaign while learning issues concerning the youth who were previously ignored or hard to reach. Politicians were also able to encompass informal focus groups without spending huge amounts of money as was the norm. Politicians were also able to keep up a correspondence with the country at large through podcasts and blogs. Generally, the internet stood out as a major component of the election that largely swayed the youth and other marginalized groups into the process while maintaining the rest of the country at bay with the current political agendas.

In some ‘closed’ societies like Iran, where the conservative milieu has severe restrictions on the freedom of speech, the internet comes in to neatly assist political activists in airing out their concerns to the whole world, since the internet defies a mono-centric formation. Through chat rooms and weblogs in particular, users are able to alter their nationality, names, gender, ethnicity, or even their ‘bona fide’ identity, once they go online. By digitally refashioning themselves anew without bodies and ditching their socially constructed identities, users can easily and effectively champion for political freedom. Therefore, virtual communities can come together for a common cause, especially in political circumstances that tend to segregate people on ethnic or race basis. In this regard, the internet will basically actualize the virtual process in an imperceptible space of interaction and participation in order to engross ‘cyber’ participants with each other for enhanced interaction.

Governments around the world have also used the internet to obtain public views and opinions on a particular policy or even a project wished to be undertaken by the government. Most governments do this in order to promote inclusiveness with the people and also to avoid any political repercussions.  Most significantly, the internet has brought in an inclusive approach that may eventually reshape the global socio-political fabric.

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