Presidents and Social Media: Reflections on President’s Day

Happy President’s DayGeorge Washington’s birthday is Wednesday, and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was on February 12, but who’s counting?  Many of us have the day off!

Did you ever think about historical figures and imagine how they might have used social media, if it were at their disposal in their time?

I see George Washington, the father of our country, on Facebook.  George Washington and his wife, Martha, played host to hundreds of travelers at Mount Vernon.  In addition to being a surveyor, statesman, and general, President Washington was known for his impeccable manners.  I think George Washington would have gravitated toward Facebook to keep up with all the friends he made over the years.  And he would have had LOTS of online photo albums!

Our second President, John Adams, was an influential person known for his ability to connect with and persuade people to his views.  He was sent on diplomatic missions and also served as an ambassador.  A LinkedIn man if there ever was one.

Third president Thomas Jefferson would be a blogger.  Thomas Jefferson also liked to socialize but he spent many solitary hours alone every day, reading and writing countless letters.  He donated his library to form the Library of Congress. And he was a foodie.  He brought ice cream and macaroni and cheese to the United States.  With these qualities, I think he would take to blogging like a fish to water.  And so would have his friend and fourth President, James Madison (but Dolley Madison would have definitely been on Facebook!)

Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, may have been drawn to Quora.  A self-educated man and a lawyer, who also served in Congress, President Lincoln gave one of the world’s most famous and most succinct speeches, the Gettysburg address (only 272 words).  He had an interest in addressing and solving problems.  Quora would be natural for him.

Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, our 26th President, was a former cowboy who went to Harvard and read more than 10,000 books in his lifetime.  He loved to travel and went on safari in Africa.  He traveled to Europe.  He explored the Amazon River in South America.  He rode in a plane in 1910.  He used to go skinny dipping in the Potomac River in winter time (brrr!).  And he loved nature and established five natural parks.  He was always DOING something and going places.  I think President Theodore Roosevelt would have loved Foursquare.  He would have been the “mayor” of everything 🙂

32nd President Franklin Delano Roosevelt would have made videos for YouTube.  The President who invented the fireside chats wanted to connect on a personal level with his constituents.  I think he would have been drawn to the personal nature of YouTube video and the trust-building power of online video communication.

I think our 35th President, John F. Kennedy, Jr., would have preferred Twitter.  Twitter has been the platform of activism and the coffee house of journalists (as well as the playground of celebrities!).  And he was a young president, who was interested in change and cutting-edge innovations.  For those reasons, I believe he would have found Twitter irresistible.  He surely would have had a smart phone!


About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a public relations and marketing consultant, and owns Fletcher Prince ( Follow Mary on Twitter @FletcherPrince.

Posted on February 20, 2012, in Fletcher Prince News, Social Media Tips and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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