The videos “Digital Diplomacy: Making Foreign Policy Less Foreign” by the U.S. Department of State and “Digital Diplomacy: A New Era of Advancing Policy” by Carnegie Endowment have provided the audience with the chance to see the official point of view of the American government and the related organizations regarding the influence of the social media on the concept of diplomacy.
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The presenters have shared their vision and experiences regarding the impact the social media had and have on domestic and foreign political relationships. The moderators and the participants of both meetings presented in the videos explained the influence of social media on the process of empowering people and making them more socially and politically active. Thus, for example, in the “Digital Diplomacy: A New Era of Advancing Policy” video, diplomats from Mexico, Peru, and the representatives of the government shared their stories about the impact Twitter had on the variety of the political events in the USA and abroad.
It appeared that the influence of social media was tremendous if compared to traditional media capabilities. The key point of this discussion is that social media and its impact on the diplomatic efforts cannot replace the traditional diplomacy, and it is only the supplementary tool, helping people (and, to the greater extent, diplomats) be active and affect every particular situation from the strong position of the participants rather than just the observers.
In the “Digital Diplomacy: Making Foreign Policy Less Foreign” the representatives of the press and the government discussed the meaningful role of the social media in the variety of current issues the world faces today. The key point of the discussion is that social media is not just about communication – it is about the involvement of people in the events abroad and their influence on the foreign policy of the USA.
The videos are very interesting to watch because of the high level, on which such topic is raised. When it comes to the government and various meetings of such kind, people in the room usually talk about some utterly serious but very boring issues. This topic is understandable to any active internet user. It was peculiar to observe how ambassadors, diplomats, and high-ranked officials compared the numbers of their Twitter followers.
It was a very live and interesting communication that allowed seeing diplomacy and diplomats from a different, less official perspective. It has appeared that they are people too, passionate, and funny. The video with very experienced journalists and the members of the government staff was interesting as well from the perspective of the influence of social media on the traditional values of the newsmakers.
It is rather obvious that social media has become something more than it was expected at the initial stage. Twitter became much more interesting to read than watching the news. It provides information directly from the users without cuts and reconsiderations. Modern news has become almost interactive. The influence of Twitter on the social and political events in Syria, Egypt, and Ukraine, for example, cannot be overestimated. It is the new era of diplomacy based on the immediate and inevitable spread of critical information everywhere. People cannot be fooled today, and diplomats know that. It makes their work in the era of digital diplomacy much more responsible but interesting as well.