I had an interview to work in a corporate office once, and when my soon-to-be-boss asked me if I had a Facebook, I hesitated slightly in my response, wondering why he would ask me such a question during an interview so professional I actually wore my hair in a bun. (Very unlike me.) I laughed, and told him I had had a Facebook since Facebook was invented, literally. He asked me if I was active on Twitter or any other social networking sites, and I answered honestly: like most people my age, I was incredibly active on the internet. (Sexy, I know.)
But imagine my surprise when politics started mixing with social networking, and I do not mean people tweeting about election results. For the second time now, President Obama and the current administration have decided to enact a social networking campaign to encourage regular ol’ American citizens to speak their minds. There is no purpose in denying the relevance of social networking, particularly Twitter, in spreading the word (even if “the word” happens to be a fake celebrity death rumor or something absurd), and relying on something Americans are already comfortable with in regards to sharing our opinions is, in my opinion, a sharp move on the government’s behalf.
Launched at the end of November, Obama’s administration introduced the hashtag #my2K (meaning “my two-thousand dollars,” not some obscure reference to the not-quite-realistic end-of-the-world scare from a few years ago) in hopes of sparking conversation that, ideally, would pressure Republicans in Congress to pass the extension of the current middle-class tax rates which are set to expire at the end of 2012. Republicans currently wish to extend the George W. Bush era tax rates across the board, which would not benefit middle-class Americans as much as the extension would benefit the rich. Extending tax rates for middle-class families (middle-class families are qualified as those making less than $250,000 in a year) would force wealthier households to pay more in taxes and receive less money back aka if you have more, you should give more.
Not as black and white as plenty of other Democrat v. Republican political issues we have faced in the past year, tax rates actually have plenty of people split even within their own parties. Reducing the national debt and averting the fiscal cliff is not a particularly light topic. (If you don’t know about fiscal cliffs, C. Montgomery Burns can help you out.)
The entire premise of the #my2K campaign is to discover what $2,200 means to you. Obama’s administration would like to hear from the people of America, taking advantage of the quickest way our voices are heard: the internet.
Over 250,000 tweets have hashed the tag, and over 100,000 personal stories have been shared via whitehouse.gov. Asking us to use our voices is effective in at least one way, and it will make social networking tools even more impressive if use of the hashtag actually influences Congress to side with Obama’s administration.
So, guys. What do you think? And what do you think of #my2K? Is relying on social networking as an important political move smart, or kind of silly? What would an extra $2,200 mean to you and your family?
When you are being asked to use your voice, you should really use your voice. Share with us here, tweet with the hashtag #my2K or submit your story to whitehouse.gov.