Last week I had the opportunity of attending a lecture hosted by the Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics and the guest speaker was New Jersey Senator Cory Booker. I have heard Senator Booker speak many times and he never disappoints; he knows how to captivate a crowd and make himself relatable. He often tells fun stories of his rise in politics within the city of Newark and cracks jokes with members of the crowd.
Senator Booker has become a staple for his successful usage of social media throughout his political career and recent campaign for U.S. Senator. Senator Booker currently has 1.45 million Twitter followers, 217, 403 likes on Facebook, and 33,756 Instagram followers. He has used social media to shape his political image as a reachable and personable politician through his constant activity on social media- posting pictures, responding to tweets, and direct messaging constituents in need of help. The Gainous and Wagner article highlights the extreme change that is currently occurring,“the United States, like every nation, has had significant moments of societal evolution or even revolution. American democracy is constantly evolving and changing. Our history demonstrates that the nation is to be understood as a process, not as an end.” (Gainous and Wagner, 9) The internet and the use of social media is the change here and how it drastically has changed the way we interact with each other, especially individuals who seemed unattainable before.
Senator Booker is very aware of his presence on social media and the influence he creates on the interweb. When he entered, he joked about tweets he received from students in the audience and explained his philosophy of making “love go viral”. He argued that the Millennial Generation can look past categories and join together through social media to create a positive change. He mentioned positive changes in politics, social justice, and any area of great concern. Senator Booker ended with an explanation of his Youtube “feud” with nighttime host Conan O’Brien, that eventually lead to then Secretary of the State, Hiliary Clinton, calling for love and peace between the two- virility of love.