Twitter as a Performance
Twitter is a very popular media platform in today’s world. Anyone and everyone uses it to reach other people, including politicians, celebrities, athletes, and even average people. It is a platform that allows individuals to reach millions of people with the easy click of a button. Politicians such as President Trump use it to reach Americans directly instead of going through the so-called “fake media.” This allows him to be himself and not be subject to how news outlets perceive him. This allows Trump to put on a performance for his followers and as Goffman states, “They are asked to believe that the character they see actually possesses the attributes he appears to possess, that the task he performs will have the consequences that are implicitly claimed for it, and that, in general, matters are what they appear to be.” When I was an intern for a website and was in charge of the social media platforms, I was asked to create posts to attract the most attention and to gain followers. Essentially that is what most people do on social media. Donald Trump has made outrageous claims, whether or not they are true, to gain attention and bring focus onto a particular subject. He also uses his Twitter to send a message such as by retweeting Fox and Friends, showing favoritism towards Fox News. This goes in line with what was said before about him avoiding other mainstream media outlets and going with the one that confirms his beliefs.
Markham also talks about social media and how it gives people “a sense of presence without actually being there is a hallmark of Internet mediated communication.” This allows people to feel like they are getting the real Donald Trump and are able to see how he actually is. This is appealing to followers because typically politicians aren’t always so open about what they are doing. Whether or not what Trump is putting out on his social media, people take it to be truth and believe they are seeing a different side of Donald Trump than what the media is portraying. However, social media is not always how you present yourself in the present, due to the fact that once you tweet something, it is most likely on the internet forever, especially for Donald Trump. Markham also states “we not only have to manage various presentations of self…but also the presentation of selves from the past that collide with selves of present.” Trump has confronted this idea when he seems to contradict himself many times on social media about various subjects. As you can see in this picture, Trump says one thing in the past and then says another in the present.
People constantly put on a show when they go onto their social media sites. It allows people to portray themselves how they want to be viewed. This results in people making dishonest claims in order to sway the opinions of people who might not know any better.