Voice of the Youth10/16/2012
(By Amy Olson)
Type “2012 USA elections” into the Facebook search bar and you’ll be greeted with an array of active community and interest groups bubbling with fiery debates and instantaneous updates of this year’s presidential elections.
US politics has obviously been the hot-topic on various social media platforms in the recent months. The Politics channel on YouTube Politics currently has 54,923 subscribers and over 6 million video views while Twitter has set up a political barometer to evaluate the presence of US politics in the twitter-sphere. Even the photo centric, social media platform, Pinterest has set up a 2012 election page.
Social media has undoubtedly brought about a new phenomenon in the world of politics – one that amplifies the voice of an ordinary person – more importantly, you, a voter. Discussions that used to be confined to the four walls of a room can now be heard by billions of people around the world while concerns and worries written in a comment by a single individual can potentially be a major topic of discussion in the debates. What’s more, information-savvy voters can now look to online forums to seek alternative views before making a decision of their own.
So how does the youth play a role in all of this?
All of these social media databases are youth-based. Facebook is relatively new, YouTube and Vimeo are now the blueprint for a young filmmaker’s career, and Twitter is mostly used by people ages 26-34 (as stated by Quora.com). This means that the tools with the voice to possibly make a change lie in the hands of youth.
However, it appears that American youth are not taking as much of a role in this election as they were in 2008. “A July Gallup survey found that 58% of voters age 18-29 said they will ‘definitely vote’ in November, versus 78% that were asked the same question in 2008.” — (quoted by, www.usatodayeducate.com). Although the cause is undefined, this drastic 20% drop in ‘definite’ voters is startling and will definitely have a huge impact on the outcome of the 2012 Presidency.
It’s easy to feel like your voice is small compared to the loud cacophony of voiced opinions that the Political world seems to render. But your voice is far from small; this election could be in the hands of the youth, and huge decisions that influence the youth are on the table. For example: college accessibility and how affordable it is. You have the freedom to make a choice and take a stand so no matter whom you choose to vote for, the important thing is that you get out there and do it!
So get typing, tweeting and commenting!!! You have the power to make a change, so get inspired, and find your voice!
Start right here!!! Tweet @NFFTY to tell us what you think about the power of youth on politics using social media!