Mashable, in particular, asked if it was smart for Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) to use social media to announce their thoughts.
Short answer: Yes.
Next question: Why do we still think the use of social media as a means of spreading information is newsworthy?
This is the world we live in. Social media are not the only means of communication, but they are quite popular. I think we're finally at a point in the evolution of popular culture that NOT using social media to share information is more of a news hook.
I also think that asking if it's smart for public figures to use social media as a means of connecting with their constituents...frankly isn't very smart.
It's common sense for elected officials to use social media, but I still get the sense that not many of them actually "do" social media — they pass it off to a staffer to tweet or post on their behalf. Now, don't get me wrong: I understand this is often necessary to keep communication constant, because our elected officials are (hopefully) very busy trying to be productive (although the jury's still out on that one). But if even the President of the United States can find the time to tweet and sign it "-BO," then surely there's a training program or two we could get these officials into.
Or, they could just take a few lessons from Cory Booker
Do your local elected officials tweet as themselves? Are your senators on Facebook? Do you find what they have to say useful?