Too funny not to write about: on Wednesday, Vice President Biden began to post pictures to an Instagram account. One of the first pictures: What else? A selfie with the President:
There has been no shortage of critical comments aimed at the President and Vice President about how their pop culture references and meme-ification of the President’s goes beneath the dignity of the office. I disagree. The Executive Branch needs to be able to relate to the people it represents, and I have a very difficult time reconciling the idea that a selfie is somehow beneath the President & VP anymore than the idea that a President appearing in jeans is somehow wrong.
Does this mean that elected officials should be taking selfies? Yes, absolutely. Personally, in some circumstances, I prefer taking a selfie to a regular old picture. It looks more unique and personable. Again, a big point of the reason an elected should use social media is because it helps us break the mold. People are very, very tired of the plastic politician. I am convinced that the regular public wants to see us as we are – real people, with families and flaws. Selfies help with that – they are closer (and make us look more human), plus they look more spontaneous – even though they may not be. I have no illusions, for example, that the photo above was a “spur of the moment” sort of picture.
So, for electeds: go with the selfie. Make it look real.
What do you think? Are selfies a good idea for elected officials? Let me know in the comments!