Gone are the days of watching the inauguration on a fuzzy black and white television and reading the presidential address in the newspaper. Those days have been replaced with constant Twitter and Facebook updates on your cell phone while streaming the live broadcast on your tablet. Though Twitter is the more common place to update thoughts during the inauguration, Facebook is an equal competitor. For example, when the photo of President Obama being sworn in at the private White House ceremony was posted on the official 2013 Presidential Inauguration Facebook page, the response was immediate and overwhelming.
Just a day after the inauguration, the same photograph showed over 10,000 "Likes", over 6,000 "shares", and 565 comments. During the inauguration celebrations photos and updates were uploaded to the White House's official page, which not only show immediate response, but have a few people quoting from the actual telecast on their comments. This reaction is not just to posted photos, but also to clips of the inauguration. A day later, the inauguration is readily available for viewing on Facebook as well as a link to the White House webpage for further updates. The post with the YouTube clip of the president's address has over 1,000 "likes" and 389 "shares".
Some wrote comments of empowerment from the inauguration celebrations and address, while others made their arguments known against the president's continuation. This incredible ability to voice immediate opinions on historic events like the inauguration is not something your mother was able to do. It certainly is something many in my generation do not take full advantage of. It is not due to lack of interest, but rather due to lack of understanding the gift of conversation that Facebook facilitates.
Writing this post has made a student, who has a small yet decent understanding of the impact of the inauguration, take a step back and really admire the tool Facebook has become. The moral of the story is take advantage of Facebook and its conversations. Whether young or young at heart, opinions from more than just your surroundings can be heard, combated, or commented on in just one click.