So there I was watching the Vice Presidential debates last night. Had the PowerBook on my lap, cleaning out a few emails, taking care of menial tasks while catching key points in the debate. Something struck me as particularly funny in the debate so I updated my status on Facebook and within 30 seconds I had two people replying to that comment. I had also grabbed my cell phone and sent a text to a few people and ended up engaging in a political discussion via text with a friend.
Normally, I would have waited ’til after the debate or until the next morning to send a few emails back and forth with friends, maybe post to one of the groups I’m affiliated with, and that would be that.
Compare this to a few elections ago. Hell, compare it to the last election. As more people utilize the internet and become increasingly comfortable with their cell phones, we tend to expand our social reach and become more active in different aspects of life.
The thing that strikes me is that statistics show that it is the younger crowd that use their cell phones to send text messages more than the older crowd. The same holds true for some of the social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. This brings up an interesting thought…are the younger folks actually becoming more interested in politics? Obama did a great job with his fundraising utilizing the web…is this the beginning of a new era? I applaud MTV back in the day for trying to get the youngsters to vote, but with TV being such a passive medium, the random twenty-something person watching TV and seeing the “vote or die” ad probably won’t be inclined to look up the facts. However, as politics take to the internet, it’s only natural that the internet users (generally a younger crowd…I’m just speaking in generalities here…don’t get all pissy with me, but the statistics do help prove this generalization) will become more active.
The next few elections could prove to be very interesting. There could be an increase in younger voters. There could be a shift in power, a shift issues that are viewed as important, and obviously a shift in the way campaigning is done. What the TV did for politics in the past, the internet is doing now.