Three cheers to social media, for it has made a plethora of unsolicited information accessible to the public, which is undoubtedly unprecedented. The recent election process can conveniently be associated with the high-and-mighty era of social media, as it heavily contributed to shaping up the new system of selection.From politicians being nosy amid trails over media, to charges being leveled against the former Prime Minister, social media’s impact on the pre-election arena has been unimaginable. The public went on a surreal journey of looking at things from different perspectives, thanks to the Social Media newswire available. Everyone was affected, from the basic user like a poor roadside vendor to an influencer like a corporate sector CEO. Being flooded by so many details each minute all day one has the option of either being like Donald Trump or a superhuman able to digest the influx. During the 2018 elections, the level of public awareness was at an all-time high, every move made by political parties was under scrutiny. This proved to be a game changer for the underdogs, who maximised their social media outreach and won the day.Who was the first to have an interactive pre-election ambiance? How did news as trivial as Nusrat Seher swaying her shoes in Sindh Assembly, to people looking up synonyms for Khalai Makhlooq, become trendy internet sensations? How often have we seen people nattering and passing opinions about senate elections, the Panama case, diplomatic immunity and legal framework of jurisdictions in the past? These open secrets and observations reveal that the 2018 voters are light years ahead of their predecessors. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have dramatically changed the way campaigns are run, educating voters about their basic rights. Meanwhile, the ability to push down content and broadcast it to millions in the blink of an eye is one of the most unique methods campaigners took to improve their candidates’ image using real-time analytics at almost no cost.How did ‘news’ as trivial as Nusrat Seher swaying her shoes in Sindh Assembly or people looking up synonyms for Khalai Makhlooq, become trendy internet sensations?On one hand, technology has emanated unprecedented benefits, whilst on the other it has put bats in the belfry of some. The latter noticed not a minute too soon, that the traditional methods of reaching voters through paid advertising was no longer the only option. As a result, the chances of winning shifted in favour of smarter and more up-to-date political parties. We saw candidates interacting with voters without having to pay for air-time on television or the radio, instead they ran their campaigns for free on social media.Without a doubt, Twitter is by far the most instrumental tool for politicians in terms of organizing campaigns. Such a platform helps to carve out a niche of like-minded voters and activists, who ultimately become the strength of the party. Same is true for Facebook, the ‘share option’ helps to reach voters from all demographics; you can also specify class, gender, age to optimise results. And of course, then comes the second row of warriors, ‘the journalists’, who pick up stories and spread them tout de suite.Another byproduct of social media is the support extended to the customer to raise money. The Western term ‘money bombs’ over social media might not as equally profitable for the East side, yet it exists here under several pretexts. In the West, political figures have raised staggering amounts of funds through this genre of fundraising; Ron Paul, the popular libertarian is one such example. However, there is evidence to the contrary, implying that politicians have been entangling themselves in unnecessary controversies after posting on social media. Sometimes, they even lose their political advantages and land themselves in the most puzzling and embarrassing of situations. So, hold on you white collar snoots, indeed, you are holding a ticking time bomb in your hands.We rest our case at this point and wait to see if the social media factor is going to further impact the post-election era, the way it did in recent times.The writer is a research based analyst from Islamabad. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org, fb/mbilal.16Published in Daily Times, August 30th 2018.