Facebook and Twitter 'help to politicize' today's youth

Facebook and Twitter 'help to politicize' today's youth

Summary: The web, social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook in particular, are helping to politicize today's youth by giving them a platform to argue their points and opinions.

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The web, social networking in particular, is helping to politicise younger people, according to the University of California's Humanities Research Institute.

The research studied over 2,500 members of the Generation Y over a number of years and found that based on social media updates, younger people are more likely to engage with their government if given the accessibility to so.

While the study shows that today's youth in general are disengaged from the traditional forms of political news, analysis and government, they engage far better with social networking, allowing an outlet for their thoughts and opinions.

Arguably, it goes even further than that.

But then again, with social media bantering left, right and center during anything politically related, combined the vast majority of the Generation Y engaging with their own social media accounts, it isn't surprising that young people are developing their political knowledge and opinions faster today than a generation ago.

There are two elements of socialisation to consider. The primary socialisation of young people today is where views are formed and developed based on the accounts of their parents or guardians. Secondary socialisation is where those are challenged by peers and developed further into more stable opinions and grounded theories.

Nowadays, secondary socialisation is manipulated further by social media and interactive online opinions to allow a better dialogue for younger people to air their views.

Only in recent months can we see the web politicising young people from street protests to full blown revolution.

Facebook and Twitter are not necessarily a means to an end, but nevertheless are significantly important to younger people, as a viable way of expressing their views either in a closed arena or on a global level.

But with a wide collection of political views in the closed environment such as Facebook, the study found that the the echo chamber effect is negated and that social networking tools can be a way to legitimately forward ones views to challenge.

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  • RE: Facebook and Twitter 'help to politicize' today's youth

    But is really facts or valid information that social networking shares? I can see "urban legend" type of information taking on a whole life on Facebook and Twitter. All one has to do is go back to the NFL playoffs when the Bears were playing the Packers. Cutler got hurt and couldn't play and the stuff on Twitter (from fellow NFL players) was just an all out attack without any facts but lot's of personal animosity.
    Can one verify that the same isn't happening all the time on Facebook and Twitter? From what I have gathered from talking with the younger generation, they use social media in place of real face to face interaction. Their view of anything is formed by the opinions being posted. I have seen fund raising events perform poorly because the younger generation got the image that no one was going to the event and therefore didn't go and support their own cause.
    Bottom line: I am not confidant that there isn't massive manipulation of opinion on Facebook and Twitter, After all advertising is what pays for the existence of Facebook and I believe Twitter is pushing hard to get more ad revenue.
    And one final comment: all one has to do is read comments left by readers on any site that allows for it and you will get a good flavor of what I mean by personal opinion (especially news sites).
    Romas27
    • RE: Facebook and Twitter 'help to politicize' today's youth

      @Romas27 Hm... and this so called "manipulation" differs from what we see in the "dinosaur media" in exactly what way?

      Actually, as a member of an "older" generation that has never really "got" Facebook or Twitter I see this as a pretty positive development if it is actually real (and significant). The one thing that "the new media revolution" has done is provide people with many more options. Like most things, this can be good or bad. More options and information sources is obviously good, however, people tend to be very self-selective in what sources they choose to use. For example, the brain dead white aged male woman hating bigot that only listens to the likes of Rush, and the never had a brain tree hugging global warming fear monger class envy promoting know it all that thinks NPR actually serves a purpose of any kind.

      One solution to this isolation is simply getting involved with more people with more diverse views and actually interacting with them. The things about your "circle of friends" is that, while they are to a large extent self-selected, often you are not aware of the extent of their political views. Plus the "Friending" process of Facebook and the "degrees of separation" concept it seems like there *might* be a good opportunity for actually being exposed to a more diverse set of views. Not that that guarantees that any given "truth" will be dispensed or accepted but provides the opportunity.
      -bob-
      • RE: Facebook and Twitter 'help to politicize' today's youth

        @bob@... sorry for eing a day late in answering, I do have a job to do :-)
        I am part of the older generation also; however I have always stayed abreast of new developments. I don't belong to Facebook mostly because of the dissemination or information to advertisers (and whoever else) and also because it is so impersonal. I like to talk with people face to face, this forms a relationship that is difficult to duplicate on-line. And now many people are activating all the privacy feature to the point where their circle of friends reduces to those they should just meet in person. This defeats the whole point of a social network.
        I'm not saying that this cannot be good; but unfortunately as a later commentor says people don't think.
        Romas27
  • RE: Facebook and Twitter 'help to politicize' today's youth

    Romas - you hit the nail squarely on the head. Many posts to news articles I've read are filled with extremist posts (both "left" and "right") which are based on feelings and beliefs, not facts. And in my opinion, the tone of the article will often fan the flames rather than portray an unbiases position on the unfolding events.

    Using biased language, when combined with lies by omission, can greatly exagerate any position to suit the author's needs, and the reader is left to their own judgement and experience to separate the wheat from the chaff - unfortunately, a disproportionate segment of the younger audience doesn't take the time to fully understand and appreciate the full picture and can be easily manipulated by a smooth talker or good writer.

    We've moved away from caring most about the facts, about the truth and about getting the story reported correctly to caring most about ratings, site visits and sensationalism.
    SoccerDad#2
    • RE: Facebook and Twitter 'help to politicize' today's youth

      @SoccerDad#2, you said...<br>"unfortunately, a disproportionate segment of the younger audience doesn't take the time to fully understand and appreciate the full picture and can be easily manipulated by a smooth talker or good writer."<br><br>This is why it is vital that schools and universities teach students to think and to reason logically.<br><br>"We've moved away from caring most about the facts, about the truth and about getting the story reported correctly to caring most about ratings, site visits and sensationalism." <br><br>That is what the people who are manipulating us in big business, big media, and big government want. They want us to feel; they don't want us to think.
      sissy sue
      • RE: Facebook and Twitter 'help to politicize' today's youth

        @sissy sue
        "They want us to feel; they don't want us to think."
        Right... but enough about the Democratic Party...

        "schools and universities" at best *might* provide an environment for young minds to develop but they are certainly not "teach[ing] students to think and to reason logically". Seems to me that is something the individual has to make a conscious decision to do and most of us never bother...
        -bob-
      • RE: Facebook and Twitter 'help to politicize' today's youth

        @sissy sue Depending on which university or college you may attend (if you are qualified) you will learn to think. Of course it depends on your curriculum.
        I am a graduate of DePaul University (sure it was a few decades ago) and basic core courses were mandatory - philosophy being one of them. I was in a technical program so logic and investigation were part of the development process. So you can be taught a better thinking approach; but then your background will dictate how well you accept that. I don't want to bring up any of that because then it will become a battle of personal opinions.
        Romas27
  • RE: Facebook and Twitter 'help to politicize' today's youth

    Oh goody--so now we have a generation of self-important technology consumers who can talk AT their government but can't be bothered to learn ABOUT it.
    nancyjones36507@...