The Role of Social Media in Diplomacy
The wave of social media has tremendously changed the face of world diplomacy in a number of ways. Social media has also offered people a better way of feeling the pulse of the world. It has significantly empowered many governments as well as diplomats across the world and thus, allowing more efficient and up-to-date communication, enhanced engagements, and increased efficiency as well as transparency in various interactions. The impact of social media on diplomacy is often understood by many as social media diplomacy or digital diplomacy. No matter how people refer to it, it is just part of what is referred to as e-diplomacy (Marsden, 2000, p. 23-43).
The term e-diplomacy is also understood as the use of the web as well as the new information technology communication and information in order to help in carrying out a number of diplomatic objectives. The concept of e-diplomacy may be a very hard thing to grasp, since it is very broad. Moreover, the concept is highly complex and structured in which the wave of social media performs a visible function. Through the many platforms that the world of social media has presented to the world, including tweeting and blogging, many governments around the world are now able to communicate their priorities to the international arena as well as actuating their foreign policy agendas (Marsden, 2000, p. 46-57).
Indeed, the world today is becoming a global village. The various communication technologies, such as mobile phones, internet, as well as social media are regarded as the key drivers of the revolutionary changes in many of the societies today. The tremendous and fast information exchange, digital sharing across the international platforms, ease of storage, as well as the capacity of communicating instantly with low costs over a wide audience, is redesigning the pattern as well as the scope of interactions among people across the world in particular, the world diplomacy.
Considering the influences of social media on the world politics, from political campaigns to e-governance and the conduct of foreign issues, it would be very hard not to imagine the impact of social media on diplomacy. Many people across the world have saluted the rise of the new form of diplomacy over the last decade. Terms such as cyber diplomacy, virtual diplomacy, and media diplomacy are among the newly formed and coined terms, which put major focus on the invented change from the past. The many opportunities that are offered by social media including connecting governments to the world audience are believed to foster relationships and cooperation among people and governments.
Through analyzing the manner in which the communication and information technologies are used and appropriated in the world today by social players such as diplomats, members of the public, as well as politicians who are increasingly pursuing their personal interests, it is hard to understand how the wheels of diplomacy are evolving in the age of interconnectedness. Moreover, it is very evident that world diplomacy is becoming more multidimensional as well as counter intuitively biased. Therefore, social media has been a major player in determining the direction of world diplomacy through the provision of a number of platforms in which many of the world’s governments share and exchange information. As compared with a century ago, diplomacy in the world today has grown tremendously in terms of efficiency and transparency (Fulton et al, 1998).
Fulton, B., Burt, R., Robison, O., & Center for Strategic and International Studies (Washington, D.C.). (1998). Reinventing diplomacy in the information age. Washington, D.C.: CSIS.
Marsden, C. T. (2000). Regulating the global information society. London: Routledge.