youth civic engagement in social media

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Presentation at IADIS conference on civic engagement in social media

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2. The aims of this study Define and conceptualize youth civic engagement in social media(literature review). To identify how youth themselves conceptualize civic engagementand in what way they participate and are motivated in civic issuesonline (four group interviews, N = 27) Suggest guidelines on designing for youth civic engagement insocial media. 2 3. How are social media linked to civicengagement ? 3 4. delTA 5 5. We use Facebook to schedule the protests,Twitter to coordinate, and YouTube to tell theworld.Source: The Cascading Effects of the Arab Spring 6. But, can we simply ? delTA 7 7. 8 8. Is it only a "feel good" engagement? 9 9. "What we hope will happen is that by just having this simple tool, wethink that people can really help spread awareness of organ donation" Zuckerberg to ABC news May 1. 2012 By Tuesday evening, 100,000 people had declared themselves organ donors on their Facebook profiles,10 10. The Facebook event page showed over 21,000 people attending.Millions of tweets from around the world.About 17 people met downtown to put up posters throughout the downtown core, delTA 11 11. PossibilitiesChallengesFree, cheap and effective way to bring Slactivismepeoples voice out, to participateMore debate/more people can debate Destructive/nihelistic, thus only some people would like debateFast mobilization /organizing groups Low commitment over timeBring new voices into the public sphere. The active people online are the sameMotivate new people to participate and that are active offline (digital divide). Willget involved in political issues not reach a mass audiencesOnline activityNot offline activity ?Internet activism (political activity online)Replacing traditional political activity (thereby leading to lower level of participation)Easy to set up of Internet campaigns Does internet campaigns have any effect ?Increase awareness of political issues Information overloadDiverse sources of information Fragmentation and echo chambersdelTA 12 12. Why youth? Young people are crucial agents with regard to peaceprocesses and political stability on a local and globalscale (Tufte & Enghel, 2009) Social media = a new and promising arena for civicengagement Youth is regarded as being at the forefront of newmedia uptake (Bennett, 2008; Christensen, 2011;Jenkins et al., 2006; Mongomery et al., 2004).delTA 13 13. All young people are on FacebookIts just that everyone else is onFacebook so you join up yourself"(boy, 17 years)Brandtzg et al., (2010) 14 14. More eagerRecent reports (from US and Norway) indicate thatyoung people (15-25 years) are more eagerthan the rest of the population to engage inpolitical and civic activities online (Rainie et al.,2011).15 15. But the majority of young people are not active in civic issues online 16 16. Define and conceptualize civic engagement in social mediaThe elements that constitute civic engagement areconstantly evolving and are still open to debate (Youniss et al., 2002), and in particularly with the introduction of the Internet and social media17 17. Civic engagement- not only voting or protest actions EC Report - Unconventional forms of civic engagementwill need to be included in order to allow youth a greatermargin for such engagement (Forbrig, 2005, p. 67). 18 18. The study of everything? (Deth, 2001)Voting, members Voting, members in org.Voingof political parties Contactingofficials Conventional participation - contacting officials etc Unconventional participation - protest actions Protest actions social movements etc.Social movementsEverything that are "social"?Social engagement 19 19. Proposed definition To avoid an overly broad perspective on youthcivic engagement, we suggest three distinct sets of practices: "Youth action in response to societal needs,in the form of supportive, deliberative, and collaborative practices in social media."20 20. delTA 21 21. The studyHow: Four group interviews (snowball sampling).Who: Young people (N= 27, 12 boys and 15 girls)(M = 18 years, min.15 max.21 years)When: October-November, 2011Where: In Norway (Oslo and around)What: How young people understand civic engagementin social media and which factors motivate suchengagement. 22 22. Results from interviewsSome examples23 23. Results The participants reported not to prioritize reading newspapersor watching the news on TV, as their usage patterns related toboth communication and information is getting increasinglyInternet oriented. The participants reported to distance themselves fromaspects of formal citizenship, such as political parties andinvolvement in local governmental political issues, and preferinformal types of engagement within social media which oftenhave higher relatedness and, thus, often are associated withcauses initiated by young people. 24 24. Civic engagement online a question of context and formalitySNSs HIGH News sitesDegree ofengagement Governmental sites LOW Degree of formalityHIGH 25. Informal & flexible Informal: project-oriented civic engagement is often reflected in flexible andindividualized participation "I want to participate when I have time and when I am motivated, Facebook is therefore a nice way to be engaged. Via Facebook you can manage to follow and engage in different caseswhen you have spare time" (Girl, 19 years) 26 26. Peer-oriented Youth are mainly interested in causes related to other youth and causesdefined by the youth (e.g., high relatedness). Attachment to a group is oneof the more straightforward reason why people participate online (Porter,2008)"Young people are interested in other young people" (boy, 16 years).27 27. Visibility & self expression Youth are using signs and pictures to communicate a stance. The level ofvisibility influences how and to what degree young people are willing toengage.- "People changes their profile picture and addpictures of themselves and their friends all the time" (girl, 18 years). 28 28. Emotional"Many engage in (civic) activities that aremotivated by feelings rather than real knowledge" (boy, 19 years).29 29. Excitement "Good headlines and good pictures are needed to get our attention" (girl, 17 years)."Young people are fast to get bored" (boy 18 years) 30 30. Immediate and local "The young people we know are not veryinterested in organizations and memberships, but rather engage in immediate and local needs" (girl, 17 years). 31 31. "I want fast feedback, so you just dont send an email toyour local authorities " (boy, 18 years)Interviewer: What do you mean? "It will probably take ages to get an answer, and if you getan response its probably not understandable" (boy, 18 years) 32 32. design recommendation1. CONTEXT: Young people participate and use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, because everyone else are there.2. FLEXIBLE: Young people like to be in an informal environment that is, flexible and project-oriented because they have little time.3. UPDATED, Young people are appealed by updated and fresh content and get bored by old content.4. EXCITEMENT: Young people are excited by emotional content, fresh layouts and pictures of other young people (seek to find like-minded). Key words: Colorful, contrasts, music, video clips.5. PEER GROUP: Young people will have more information relevant for their peer group. They would also like to have the opportunity to create and publish their own content.6. CONTROL: Young people wants control over their own information (privacy) and easy to use software. They also want short and easy to understand information so they can achieve improved knowledge and competence about civic issues.7. SHARING: Young people wants to share content because they want to participate by sharing8. VISIBILITY: Young people enjoy visibility and different way of self expression. They want to make use of signs and pictures to communicate a stance.9. FEEDBACK: Young people expect quick responses to their contributions or 33 comments to motivate continued engagement. 33. Thanks to The VERDIKT-programme in theNorwegian Research Council Opinion Perduco Plan Norway NRK Norwegian Broadcasting EddaMedia/Fredrikstad blad (newspaper) Kongsvinger kommune (muncipal) 34