OpEd: Furthering Democracy one ‘LIKE’ at a Time

By David Gliddon, Ph.D., adjunct professor of Business

I voted sticker - 2012 ElectionsDemocracy is a decision-making system that allows citizens an equal say to select their preferred leader. This selection is based upon the individual knowledge gained and the unique values that each voter applies in their own lives. It is a unified statement of freedom in America. It is a human statement. It is a voice. In this election season, technology has drastically evolved how this statement is created by offering more open access to knowledge and various mediums of expression. Speech, music, art, and writing can be quickly and easily shared to create a living, real-time dialogue.

Technology has been an instrumental form of communication during this presidential election season in that it has created a more informed and able electorate. It has been a tool for citizens to organize, coordinate, share ideas, and support their chosen ideals and candidates. Some choose to voice their opinions within their own personal networks on Facebook or Twitter. Other prominent supporters of a candidate such as Joss Whedon, have shared personal statements using YouTube.  I remember seeing this video late one evening in October when it had only 300 views. As the video went viral being shared via Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms it helped to create a supportive endorsement for his candidate. By the next morning, the video was front page news on several leading international websites.

Each citizen has unique opportunity to participate in this living dialogue. They can also choose to not participate which itself is a freedom that justifies their position that “at this time, I am disposed with other matters,” or “I believe that I do not really have this freedom,”  or “I do not know enough yet to make a decision, or simply, “I choose not to.”  However, if more people would choose to participate in this living dialogue, providing their own unique views, then democracy would be more alive in America. 

America is more democratic when more of its citizens embrace freedom.

Start talking, creating, and giving your say. Embrace freedom! Participating in democracy is something any citizen can do. It is something you can do in your own way. Make sure your voice is heard and make sure you know your leaders will listen, take into account your voice, and understand that you are a participant in the living dialogue. Technology offers citizens a unique opportunity for communication, interpretation, and expression. The issues we express in our society continue the discussion and help to define the living dialogue.

Did you vote today?

Image credit: Flickr/Wolfworld

CTU Faculty - David GliddonDavid Gliddon, Ph.D., is an adjunct faculty member at Colorado Technical University and a member of The White House Community Leaders Program. He has global consulting experience in human resources and education. He has won awards for both academic service and for his research on innovation leaders. He was a reviewer for SAGE publications. His research is listed as suggested reading by the National Council on Teacher Quality and the Federal Consulting Group.