Rory Bishop discusses Trump’s sporadic use of social media.
Having now surpassed 50 million followers, it’s beyond debate that Trump’s famous twitter account has become so pivotal, on both his campaign trail and during his duration in the White House, that it is impossible to ignore. Whether you are present on any social medias or not it litters the internet. It has been at the forefront of many news articles associated with him and a new, lavish statement arises every day. Most intriguingly it seems to have no apparent theme, as one moment he goes from boasting about his country and then, following this, he just ends up insulting a celebrity or world leader with an offhand remark. However, is there really any strategy behind any of it all?
His most recent tweet, at the time of writing, seems to sum up his use of twitter quite profoundly. It lectures Mexico about how they should be solving the immigration issue and goes on to threaten them under the pretense of introducing even harsher immigration policies as a part of the new edition of the North America Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He then sporadically adds the sentence ‘Also, we must get wall funding fast.’ Trump’s tweets such as these are intriguing as they seem to lack any professionalism. In this tweet alone, he passes the blame onto someone else in an attempt to absolve himself, before making a shallow threat and finalising it with an obligatory mention of the wall and he does so as though it is just another item at the bottom of his actual agenda but he feels the need to include it regardless.
Yet, it is the lack of consistency that is so baffling. He seems to make comments no one expects ranging from words of government legislation to celebrity bashing and aggressively writing ‘FAKE NEWS’ in block capitals. In November last year, he even went as far as to retweet a video of an Islamic boy being beaten and shoved off a building, just to further presented his anti-Muslim agenda. This is not just wrong for a president, but for any person.
The question presented is whether there is actually reasoning behind what he tweets. The problem at hand is that it’s impossible to tell, but what can be seen is people’s reactions to it. Trump’s twitter keeps the focus on him. Since he is tweeting multiple times a day, even if three quarters of his tweets are ignored, at least one or two a week will always gain traction and media attention. Trump truly personifies the idea that any publicity is good publicity but we are part of the problem. Due to the constant influx of messages, most are quickly forgotten as a new and more controversial tweet attracts one’s attention. The cycle is consistent and the cycle seems to have no foreseeable end.
Back in 2016, at a Rhode Island campaign rally, Trump said in regards to his twitter: ‘I’ll give it up after I’m president. We won’t tweet anymore. I don’t know. Not presidential.’ Yet we have seen how that has played out, as we are left to ponder what Trump would be without his social media.