Donald Trump has certainly been a controversial figure since his decision to run for president of the United States. He has galvanized a demographic of this country that previously operated in the shadows and has stubbornly stuck to a message that has further divided the American people. One of Trump's main outlets for iterating his beliefs is Twitter.
One may question the validity of this social media platform for a presidential candidate, given its character limits and ability to post without verification. However, Trump sees it as an important tool with a wide reach where he can impact his audience at a moment's notice.
During the Today show, Matt Lauer took the opportunity to inquire about Donald Trump's current Twitter use after saying he would become more reserved on this specific platform.
"You seem to understand that perhaps having fights on Twitter would not be appropriate for the president. I have not seen you backing off fights on Twitter. In the time since you were elected, you've targeted the cast of Hamilton, The New York Times, China, Boeing, the media, and SNL."
Matt Lauer and Donald Trump previously had the opportunity to talk at the commander-in-chief forum, which was widely panned. Most notably, Lauer refused to fact-check Trump when he insisted he was against the Iraq War from its inception. Evidence proves he initially supported it. Donald Trump was also able to avoid tougher questions that loomed over his more seasoned counterparts. Trump's interview allowed him to provide easily digestible bites for his supporters to consume.
Perhaps, Lauer's performance with Donald Trump at the commander-in-chief forum provoked him to ask more difficult questions during his most recent opportunity to speak with him. Trump's lack of responsibility and accountability with social media has been frequent and in plain sight. It is an easy target for Lauer to aim at; however, now that Donald Trump will take over the White House, these things that may seem small become amplified in importance.
To shine a possible positive light on Donald Trump's actions through social media, the general public gains a bit of transparency. Politicians tend to lack clarity, requiring the population to read the tea leaves in regards to their true intentions. Donald Trump has proven to be too flippant to be one shrouded in such mystery.
It is no secret that Donald Trump has a disdain for the mainstream media. Ironically, they have actually helped prop Donald Trump up to the position he currently holds. If one thing is clear, Trump has exploited the media in such a way that, intentional or not, has been a massive success for his campaign. Mainstream and social media have become intertwined in such a way that it is hard to recognize one from the other. They feed off of each other in a twisted symbiotic relationship that may confuse more than it enlightens. Trump's use of Twitter is no exception to the exponential amounts of personal content that can find its way into the mainstream.
If Donald Trump continues his Twitter activity similarly moving forward, it'll definitely be a media focus, as Trump's spotlight will get brighter. Only time will tell if Trump can pull back on the reins a bit. It just might be difficult to take his word for it.