Unlike generations of the past, today’s youth build relationships in communities that transcend cultural, temporal and geographical boundaries and membership in these communities provides for a civic engagement that is more connected than ever. The Millennial generation is emerging in the political forefront in the 2008 presidential election, and technology is helping engage and drive them to the polls. The 2008 cycle marks the first presidential campaign defined by new media, whereas it is both the medium and the message. Among these driving forces is the social networking website, Facebook. Facebook provides users with motivation, ability, and opportunities to become engaged, through peer-to-peer, one-to-many, many-to-one, and many-to-many communications and shifts the nature of community from geographic to interest-based, while blurring distinctions between types of mediums, such as print, visual and audio. Campaigns are similarly capitalizing on the interactive nature of Facebook by identifying the producers and consumers of information and targeting young influential supporters.
Full Article (PDF):Facebook-Youth-Mobilization.pdf