Nowadays everybody talks about connections and their role in the society, a role that can make the difference toward success. I mentioned this thinking about a study which says that anybody can reach to someone else from the planet through a number of seven persons. That means connections and the importance of knowing people.
Social media is the right channel for meeting people and keep in touch with them, even if the physical distance is considerable. Also, it is important to exchange information and knowledge. A managed interchange of knowledge creates a network which improves the decision making process. Whether it is about a state government or a company headquarters, keeping in touch with the members can increase the performance of the whole organization through “collection, application, and management of intelligentsia”. Also, the communication between members and decision makers brings a feedback close to reality.
Governance implies listening and communicating to people. Technology makes citizens voice louder because of the easy access to social media channels. The government from the country I live in uses social media channels too (Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter); this variety of channels is for everybody’s tastes. This way to stay connected with citizens helps the government to gain information, feedback, complains and wishes; also, the government transmits informal information and explanation. In the same time, through social media the networks arise very quickly, fact that represents a serious challenge for the authorities, in this way a simple drawback can escalade to a major problem. In my opinion the manipulation of the masses represents the biggest influence that social media has upon the government-citizen relationship; this manipulation can be directed to both senses. Analyzing the social media channels, the government can identify the informal organizational networks, thus acting knowledgeably.
Taking into consideration the huge number of users, the government should transform these channels into a resource through which the citizens can be educated: from simple trainings to developing the civic consciousness.
Even if citizens are encouraged to access the government’s social media, this does not compensate the true-/e-government process; citizens should express their opinion through official channels.
In conclusion, I think my government’s social media networks should gain more importance; the online expression should be as well as the one heard on the streets. Also, the citizen should realize the potential of the on-line expression. Even so, I consider that this kind of expression should not replace the street voice totally; sometimes citizens should make their presence felt. Social media networks are important for a good governance because of the possibility to take the pulse of the community, identify informal groups, promote ideas/products and potential, and all this because of easy accessibility (via PC, laptop, tablet, phone and a connectivity to internet). – Stefan Ovidiu Rosu, Romania.