The Impact of the Internet on Youth Involvement in Politics Anand Mani
Images from The Rally to Restore Fear and/or Sanity- 10/30/2010
What is surprising about these pictures?
Compare this picture of a 1996 Presidential Nominating Convention…
… to this image from 2008
What is the major difference between the two images?
The amount of youth participation in vastly more today than even ten years ago
So what has caused this drastic change?
The Internet’s widespread use has dramatically changed society in general
The internet has dramatically impacted youth involvement in politics.
Nearly half of youth 18-29 claim they get political news over the Internet (“Internet’s Broader Role”)
Politicians are also using websites that young people frequent to advertise and get their message out YouTube Social Networking MySpace Facebook Yahoo! Google
Nearly 30% of all people from the age 18-29 claim they get involved in politics through social networking sites like Facebook (“Internet’s Broader Role”)
Clearly, the Internet has had a significant impact on political participation and involvement by youth voters But why does this matter?
The Internet has involved youth more in campaigns and in politics in general (Dahl). Youth involvement in politics is always a good thing, and we should strive to increase it (Dahl).
Statistics from MSNBC article
Youth turnout during the 2008 election is estimated at over 50% for the first time in decades (Dahl). 18% of voter turnout was young people (Dahl). Many believe that the youth vote was the deciding factor in the election (Dahl). “[John] Della Volpe [the director of polling for the Harvard Institute of Politics] estimates that Obama won the youth vote by 8.3 or 8.4 million — and he won the overall popular vote by about 8 million. ‘Young people, no question, were the driving force behind this election,’ Della Volpe says” (Dahl). Statistics from MSNBC article
The days of American youth apathy in politics are over. The trend of an increase in youth participation in at its highest ever. The youth vote is now a critical part of the American electorate. Candidates must now court the youth vote seriously. The importance of the youth electorate is now greater than ever.
Sources Images (In order of appearance) Mrs. Gemstone. “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear – Crowd.” 30 October 2010. Flickr. Yahoo. Web. 17 November 2010. Avpjack. “Rally to Restore Sanity.” 30 October 2010. Flickr. Yahoo. Web. 17 November 2010. Wolowski, Ryan Janek. “Crowd Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.” 30 October 2010. Flickr. Yahoo. Web. 17 November 2010. Sohm, Joseph. “1996 Republican Convention.” 1996. CorbisImages.com. Corbis Images. Web. 17 November 2010. Downing, Larry. “2008 Democratic National Convention.” 28 August 2008. Reuters.com. Reuters. Web. 17 November 2010. “Icons of the Web.” NYT.com. New York Times. 26 August 2010. Web. 17 November 2010 “What does the internet look like?” Discover Magazine. Discover Magazine. Web 17 November 2010. “MSNBC Homepage.” MSNBC.com. MSNBC. 17 November 2010. “CNN Homepage.” CNN.com. CNN. 17 November 2010. “President Barack Obama.” Facebook.com. Facebook. 17 November 2010 Statistics “Internet’s Broader Role in Campaign 2008.” People-Press.org. The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. 11 January 2008. Web. 17 November 2010. Dahl, Melissa. “Young voter turnout likely sets new record.” MSNBC.org.MSNBC. 5 November 2008. Web. 5 December 2010.