Facebook: catalyst for change?
Every day people tell me that Facebook is a waste of time. Maybe it's true. But in recent months it has also been an advocate in this very historical election. Barack Obama started the movement by reaching out to young voters viaMySpace and Facebook. It is the under-30 contingent that seems faulty when it comes to whether they will vote on election day, but Facebook has shown that the young people are into this election.
My thinking is not alone in this matter. A recent article on Reader'sDigest.com says the following:
This knack for pairing technology and activism is only one way the Millennials differ from their baby boomer and me generation parents. And with the disaffected Generation Xers now in their 30s, a new group is finding its political voice. Encompassing 47 million young adults between the ages of 18 and 29, the Millennials constitute the first generation to come of age in the 21st century. Ambitious, civic-minded, and socially engaged, they may well decide the next President of the United States.
When Hillary Clinton declared her candidacy, the video was automatically uploaded to Facebook to get young voters enthralled.
But Barack took this whole thing by storm. He has raised campaign money through Facebook, where teens can donate a small amount toward the cause. There are groups supporting him; you can dedicate your page features to him; his friend count is innumerable.
"At the risk of sounding self-absorbed, it's not just about Barack Obama -- it's also about us," says Heather Smith, executive director of Rock the Vote, an organization dedicated to registering young voters. "Young people are paying attention to politics at rates we've never seen."
Sure Barack, sparked the Facebook movement; this has in turn sparked young people everywhere to go out and vote. There have been a number of early voters, and as I type this, I wonder what history is going to be made when the poles close tonight.
I do know that, despite the outcome, Facebook has made people more aware of the issues at hand. Its advocacy for the youth of America has been a very powerful thing. More than ever, the youth knows about what is really important in this country. With knowledge comes understanding, and understanding brings an educated vote. An educated vote is the only hope for change in the future; people need to vote for what they believe in, no matter who the candidate is.
One last thought... If Barack wins, I think he should start thanking the Harvard undergrad who started Facebook. But maybe that's just me.