Let elected leaders know that clout chasing is wrong

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Effective content creation provides value, fosters transparency and encourages civic participation.


 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

What you need to know:

  • When leaders post videos of themselves dancing in offices, it comes across as a misuse of professional space.
  • Activities in these spaces should reflect the seriousness and responsibility of the work conducted.

In the era of social media dominance, the lines between professional conduct and personal expression have blurred, particularly for elected leaders.

While platforms like Instagram, TikTok and Facebook can be powerful tools for public engagement, certain behaviours – such as posting videos of dancing in government offices, overlaying music on pictures with dignitaries or sharing videos while driving – raise questions about the use of social media by those in power. Content creation by leaders should aim to inform, educate and engage the public meaningfully.

It involves sharing information about policies, updates on governmental activities and insights into political processes. Effective content creation provides value, fosters transparency and encourages civic participation.

The trend of leaders posting personal, sometimes frivolous, content detracts from these goals and undermines the dignity of their office.

When leaders post videos of themselves dancing in offices, it comes across as a misuse of professional space.

State offices are symbols of public trust and authority. Activities in these spaces should reflect the seriousness and responsibility of the work conducted.

Maintaining professionalism

Such videos can lead to perceptions that leaders are not taking their roles seriously. While it is important for leaders to appear relatable and approachable, there is a line between being personable and trivialising the responsibilities in the name of clout chasing.

Maintaining professionalism and decorum is crucial. While light-hearted moments are important, sharing them publicly should be done with consideration of the context and setting.

Government offices are not the appropriate venues for content associated with entertainment. Interactions with dignitaries and during official functions are significant, reflecting important diplomatic, social or political engagements.

Adding music or other casual elements can be seen as disrespectful to the individuals and the events. It trivialises key moments and interactions.

Social media posts by leaders become part of the historical record. It is important that these records reflect the seriousness and importance of the roles and events they document, rather than being overshadowed by attempts at humour.

Responsible behaviour

Recording videos while driving, walking or at the gym is unprofessional and dangerous. It sets a poor example, especially for young followers.

Leaders should prioritise safety and demonstrate responsible behaviour. Elected leaders have a duty to use the platforms wisely, promoting safe practices through their actions to positively influence public conduct.

There is concern that leaders are competing with comedians and social media influencers for attention. While relatability and a human touch are important, leaders must remember that their primary role is to lead and govern.

When leaders focus on entertaining content, their core messages about policies, governance and public service can get lost. It dilutes the importance of their role and the seriousness of the issues they address.

While social media has the potential to enhance democratic engagement, its exploitation for personal gain can have detrimental effects on society.

To safeguard the integrity of political discourse and protect young people from misinformation, it is imperative to promote responsible social media use, enhance media literacy and hold leaders accountable for their online behaviour. By doing so, we can foster a more informed, engaged and resilient youth population.

Mr Mohamed is a sustainable and disruptive strategies expert. [email protected]