Come the next election, the new kids on the block in terms of those who will vote for the first time, will be a generation who have not known what a world without the web is. It was there before they were born, like the sky. Imagine a generation where radio and TV were new and imagine trying to get your head around it while the younger ones figured it out in seconds. This is who we are. The web is here and is already strongly influencing the next generation of voters where they spend more time on Bebo than reading newspapers and listening to the radio. Friending, IMing, knowing exactly the moods and thoughts and intimate photos of their friends is the de rigeur. It is time for our generation to adapt to them, they won’t adapt to us and they seem to be making that obvious more and more.
This new generation doesn’t care about privacy, doesn’t care about the way things were done, they are used to doing less and getting more for it and they don’t carry the fears we still have from mass emmigration and unemployment to what people think of them. This is the generation that doesn’t care if they lose their Bebo password, they’ll just create a new profile and start again, they don’t really care about losing their mobile or changing number, they’ll simply use the knowledge of the group to get back most numbers. Their own lives seem to be structured like the net, if one node with information goes down (i.e. lose a mobile) the rest of the Net will keep going and they can restore from that. Fascinating to see and I doubt many people can figure out how this works, nevermind those in the political environment.
We saw what a total bag o’crap Rock The Vote was and we saw that voter turnout is still appalling despite old wrinkly people trying to lecture people using YouTube. We need people like Danah Boyd over here, we need anthropologists and sociologists to come onto the web and mix with the digital kids and figure out how to energise them and get them interested in the political and democratic system over here. Nuke all the childish “Yoof” wings of the parties to start with. They’re a new generation trying to be the old generation and already serverely disconnected from what their own generation want and are interested in and they grow more disconnected each day they live the youth wing life. They are mini-me versions of the existing people we all despise.
Perhaps people should figure out how to turn the influence experienced in small tech communities on Twitter and other areas into every day life, where people will trust the judgement of others and listen to their breakdowns of party policies. If 20 people buy nokia tablets because of one or two people, can that be transferred into having party neutral “analysts” that others can tune into too? Can a local politician use their blog to engage more and more and build up a following there that they couldn’t using traditional media? And then turn that readership into leaders of small cells of people that can assert strong influence on voters? Pyramid scheme politics?
I’m not sure what exactly will be the way to do it, but the way politics is done will have to change because even if the existing parties fight for the status quo, someone will come along and tap into the new generation and the disaffected and suddenly they’re a powerhouse.
See, even babies can use the iPhone:
This new generation doesnâ€™t care about privacy
Scarily true, and what’s worse is that some of these people with no regard for privacy will, when older and in positions of power, start making big decisions about what is and isn’t acceptable for media, TV, and whatever else is in the future.
I’m so becoming a hermit.
“Their own lives seem to be structured like the net, if one node with information goes down (i.e. lose a mobile) the rest of the Net will keep going and they can restore from that.”
Think you’ve been watching too much of The Matrix, Damien. The net is now a series of commodities like every other. The only thing is is that it doesn’t have a factory. The workforce is you and me but that doesn’t empower us. There’s not much privacy because many people believe that self-realisation happens outside of themselves, lived through experience and other people. Celebrities, the iPod and now Facebook. The medium is not the message any longer.
I disagree. I think the lack of concern about privacy is an immaturity. These people are young don’t forget. They won’t grow out of not caring if they lose their X or Y profile, but they will grow into caring about serious privacy concerns etc.
It’s will be for naught if the Irish people can not associate the quality of their government with the honesty and character of the politicians they elect. If they can not see that if you have a problem with the way the government is providing for it’s people, electing the same people does not solve the problem.
I don’t think any of this is inherently more true than it was five or ten or twenty years ago.
The missing ingredient then, as now, is motive. To what end will this revolution be heading? Without concrete goals, nobody ever sees the point of engaging.
Conversely, if we can all come up with something we want (and that emphatically does not mean something we don’t want) — then we can probably get something done. I say ‘we’ despite being 35 years old because everybody seems to have forgotten that the voting rate’s on the slide across the board, not just in the under-25 bracket.
Nuke all the childish â€œYoofâ€ wings of the parties to start with. Theyâ€™re a new generation trying to be the old generation and already serverely disconnected from what their own generation want and are interested in and they grow more disconnected each day they live the youth wing life. They are mini-me versions of the existing people we all despise.
Not being a cool, with it, net type person like yourself obviously, what pary is the problem with youth political parties? How are they disconnected from the lives of other young people?
Iâ€™m not sure what exactly will be the way to do it, but the way politics is done will have to change because even if the existing parties fight for the status quo, someone will come along and tap into the new generation and the disaffected and suddenly theyâ€™re a powerhouse.
Indeed, like the current US president, the Democratic who likes to scream. What’s his name again?
I have to agree with danger. I was doing some research a couple of years ago on on-line communities and what effect they have on people. My supervisor asked me to give a talk to one of his groups of students.
During my talk I brought up several of the points you did (namely how with more and more personal information available on people, how that would effect our ideas about privacy and acceptable behaviour when it came to getting a job or running for elected office). At first the students thought it would be great and that people would end up being much more honest and genuine. Then I told them that I had gone on-line and looked at their bebo pages and that their lecturers had been doing the same thing. They all looked shocked and by the end of the week several of them had set their pages to private. Trust me they care about their privacy once they realise who could be keeping tabs on them.
I think there will be an effect for the good but it will be much less strong than you currently seem to think.
“The web is here and is already strongly influencing the next generation of voters”
I would argue that the web is just another tool and it is the people who use those tools that do the influencing.
“Nuke all the childish â€œYoofâ€ wings of the parties to start with” – that has to be one of the most undemocratic, top-down, autocratic things that you could do and it seems to come from a baseless assumption that they simply follow the main party.
disclosure: I am a member of one of those “Yoof” wings
I tend to agree with John Handelaar here. Politicisation of young will only come when a cause motivates their generation. This motivation is invariably against a policy that the ruling political classes take as a given.
The 1960’s had Civil Rights movement, 1970’s the drive for Equal Rights for working mothers. These movements were underlined by real economic or libertarian reasons. Today’s world is much more liberal and liquid – robbing society of large groups of disenfranchised youths.
The idea of using a short-form communications system such as Twitter as a means to build a ground-swell of young, well-informed voters from the grassroot is intriguing. However, this will only happen when the motivation for change is felt by a large enough group. Again, Ireland’s recent economic success and centrist government ensure that Jamie and Saoirse Bloggs are more worried about buying the new Gucci clothes or flying with their mates to G’staad.
A spark of political rebellion, must be flamed by a growing number of young people disgusted with what the government does in their name. I don’t see it happening quite yet. A cause needs to be championed.
[…] about privacy though? Damien contends that the new kids on the block don’t care about privacy, and he’s probably right, but […]
If you want to persuade kids, then you go to where the kids are… just ask the pushers.
As to how to do it… in the case of twitter..
Something else about the lack of privacy… Based on what Seanmcn.com said, he didn’t believe that there would be enough irish bloggers uner 20 to fill a bedroom let alone a ballroom. How much of this lack of privacy concern is from a feeling that no one is interested in what they are doing anyway.
So 2008 for a new digital rights movement?
Out side youth parties no one gives a crap about youth parties. Seriously normal young people don’t care about youth parties or their policies.
Well Simon, one could (not my own view) say
“Seriously, normal young people donâ€™t care about political parties or their policies”
“Seriously, normal young people donâ€™t care about bloggers or their ideas”
Just like technology, the benefit of youth parties is quite hard to quantify
you being bit hard on the youth damien in this post and the other privacy one, im sure there are young bebo users who care about their privacy and as pointed out nobody really bothers to protect things until there are threatened negatively… they’ve hard enough campaigns at this stage is there no young bebo users privacy movement organised by young bebo users? protecting not just drunken pictures but use of data by commercial groups trying tho sell me pooducts
are these young bebo users not aware of digital rights as much as and because of people your age , do they not read the register too? you mean young non-geeks
[…] Bloggers rejoice as John has this news over on his blog. Yet Rock the Vote are launching their campaign on May 19th (or so Iâ€™m told)! Well after the day and date of the vote has been decided on and less than a week before the closing of the voter registration date. […]