The digital age has brought about more political participation for youth. With such a large number of young people using social networks online, a new approach to raising awareness of issues has been found. ‘Sharing’ over social networks is a way for youth to engage and become involved in certain political movements, this is “participatory politics”.
In the following clip, Henry Jenkins explains how participatory politics has become a way for youth to involve themselves in issues they feel strongly about.
There are many pages online that are looking for awareness across social platforms. There are pages on Facebook that are created purely to attract attention from youth and find awareness through the ‘sharing, liking and commenting’ that is the participatory nature of youth today.
Youth are also creating their own pages for people to get involved with across social networks. These pages range from raising awareness and donations for diseases like cancer to making a stand against a government choice like preventing a new car park to be built on a nature park. This just shows how much easier it is now for youth to show their support for a cause they feel strongly about or even start a protest themselves.
Think about the KONY 2012 campaign. It was a cause that used Facebook to find millions of people, a huge amount of them youth, that came together to show their support for the children under Kony’s rule. Since then, organisations have been trying to replicate the response the KONY 2012 campaign received from the social networking world.
There have been many attempts to expand awareness over more platforms. In 2012, to try and raise awareness for Cancer and in relation to World Cancer Day, Microsoft teamed up with SU2C. Microsoft made content space over several popular Xbox LIVE games for SU2C’s music video. The video was available on Xbox LIVE for a month.
These examples show participatory politics is becoming increasingly powerful. It’s as accessible to a 19 year old uni student as it is to big companies like the Cancer Council and Microsoft, which means that youth are able to raise awareness and follow a cause they feel strongly about with being controlled by some large company. Becoming involved with politics is now a lot easier for youth because of the online community and participatory politics.