Marion Michael Rounds's resistance to using social media reveals his haughty unwillingness to meet voters where they are. That's one good reason to vote for Rick Weiland or Stace Nelson instead of Rounds for U.S. Senate.
Rounds's cluelessness about social media and the Internet also has policy implications. Consider a project the Navy is working on to use social media for disaster preparedness:
Social media is becoming a primary source of information during disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes. In an effort to more efficiently utilize social media data for situational awareness and emergency response, the U.S. Navy is funding a software prototype to crowdsource situational awareness, called Crowd-SA.
The prototype is currently in an early developmental stage -- a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract. The Navy selected Modus Operandi to develop the software, and if it is green lit, it may be developed into a multi-million dollar project.
...[S]ince people act as remote sensors during a crisis, data like tweets, photos and posts on social media platforms could be crowdsourced from areas impacted by a disaster. Social media data, then, could help multi-headed command centers get a better grasp of the magnitude of a disaster and respond accordingly [Sarah Rich, "Navy Explores Potential of Social Media Crowdsourcing in Disaster Response," Government Technology, 2013.09.09].
Suppose the Navy likes what Modus Operandi develops and asks Congress to fund full-fledged development and deployment of this crowdsourced disaster-intel project. Suppose junior Senator Marion Michael Rounds is sitting in his office literally penciling fundraisers onto his calendar. He listens with one ear to an aide's summary of the Navy's memo on Crowd-SA, hears the words crowdsourcing, social media, and Twitter, and glances up. "What?" he says in his crotchetiest outdoor-plumbing voice. "The Navy's spending money on that Internet stuff again? I get by just fine without the Internet!" He turns back to his penciled notes, and we lose an easy opportunity to use ubiquitous technology for the public good.
Because Mike Rounds doesn't use social media, he's likely to understand why other people and offices might find it useful. And in the Internet era, failing to understand the value of Internet services causes businesses and governments to fail.
Mike Rounds may be GOP fundraisers' man of the hour, but he's not a Senator for this century.