Working in Social Media means that I see new trends happening worldwide everyday with billions of people uniting to discuss a particular thing. Anything from celebrities to particular causes, favourite music and a lot of the time it is ‘breaking’ news. Is the next trend in Social Media though, the ability to draw in a generation labelled as not caring about politics through technology?
The WooJu app is simply a photo based app where you use a photo to propose a question to your social network friends. It could be an item of clothing you like but aren’t sure on and I’ve seen someone use it for “do I look hunger?”. Either way, the whole premise of this app is to utilise the fact that people have opinions, they want to give them and that through relationship building there is a a trust between the person asking the question and the person answering that means their opinion will be received and taken seriously.
In the UK we have certainly seen a decline in young people voting as politics remains middle class and borderline elitist. Rather than teaching kids at school how democracy works and how their local councils are built, we choose to focus on roman history or some other useless knowledge to apply standardised testing on young people (and that’s my rant re: education over…for now). So it has to be on the mind of those that focus on political engagement that this needs to change and that to get the best decision for Britain we need to get as many people who understand what it means and are compelled to vote because they believe in a candidate and manifesto.
Russell Brand is of course very popular at the minute for publicly acknowledging that he is against voting in a tired, old system that is built purely and only on what has been noted as the scariest term in the whole world – “it’s always been done this way”. The lack of innovation within politics would have put most real businesses out of business decades ago but as hard as the government have tried in the past – you cannot bankrupt a country unless you really, really work hard.
So how are we as a country going to engage young people? It’s something that we hear dotted around the political scene every now and again but nothing really drastic has changed. We all still get our cards through the post telling us where to go and vote with a time and date. Is this the only way? Or has technology like WooJu demonstrated that to engage a young persons opinion you have to think outside the box a little bit?
I had the pleasure of seeing some local Bristolian politicians adopt the use of Twitter and by pleasure I mean the pure horror of people demonstrating publicly their inability to communicate. We are talking cat fights, slagging matches and ignorance of an issue – daily. This is a fantastic demonstration of the pure out of touch nature of politics and the people involved. It’s time – in my opinion – that we ditch the politicians and their crazy ideas about what they think we want to hear and present people with facts: pure, honest facts.
Technology and Social Media have a great potential to engage and bring in new audiences from across the globe or local area to unite and deliver their opinion. Why not introduce a way of utilising that to vote for the issues that we as the public feel most strongly about. Start small, build up and critique at every moment. Politics needs to find a different way: it’s broken, out of date and has lost all credibility. Business has changed and young people are able to make themselves some of the wealthiest people on the planet because they have true innovative skills. When are we going to realise that we need the same from our Government?