Young people are the future of this country and the world, plain and simple. The way young people connect is vital to understanding how you can reach that audience and how young people will change the world. Young people connect in this ever-changing world of digital media like a skilled marksman can hit a target, with precision and determination. I use social media every single day to connect with peers, people I admire or share my opinion. I believe the online event, #YouTubeAsksObama, is a true stepping stone towards digital media being used to it's fullest extent to approach the millennials on the major issues and controversies of our time.
There is no better way to connect to young people nowadays then by using the Internet. Millenials use social media like there is no tomorrow. We use it to talk to one another but we also use it to support one another or raise awareness of something we are passionate about. Tell me a time in the past where you could get the word out so quickly on a topic that millions of people will see it sometimes within moments of releasing it. A perfect example of this is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for ALS and raise money. A lot of money was raised and awareness was brought to an all-time high by watching people dump freezing cold ice water on themselves and posting it to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Digital media is the way of the future and this online event only further proves that this is necessary to connect with young people.
The #YouTubeAsksObama event is a genius way of having young people connect to government, politics, policy, among other issues; all things that affect not only adults but us young folks as well. The fact that is presidential administration is smart enough to do something like this shows how much of an impact digital media made on them. This also provides proof of the power of this generation's way of communicating. President Obama answered Hank Green, GloZell and Bethany Mota's questions with direct, concise and thoughtful responses, which is just a testimony to him but also to the respect he personally has for them and young people as a whole. Young people are smart and do have the ability to change the world; you just have to let them.
In this world of news being fed to us all the time you can get desensitized by it all but you should question and be critical of everything. Not in a negative way, but I do believe you should ask questions and you should watch for bias people have. Nowadays, it is so easy for everyone to share their opinion on something because we can just open up our phones or computers and type away. Events such as this one are vital to keeping those lines of communication between young people and people in high positions of power open. This event showed me and I believe a lot of other people that young people are interested in politics and what is going on in the world and we do have an opinion on it. With the ability to connect easier, we make it twice as easy to spread a message. Some people use it in a negative way (terrorist groups recruiting form social media) but others use it to spread messages of hope (like ALS awareness).
I believe this event was genius because I spent an entire hour watching and talking about it with people all over the country just by opening up my laptop and clicking the link. Just think about that for a second: With one or two clicks I was able to not only watch President Obama discuss issues with YouTubers, but talk and debate about what was being discussed just by clicking the send button. Digitial media is something I am passionate about. Clearly, I'm going to study it in college, but I can not tell you how impressed and delighted I am to see our government using this tool to connect with the people who use it the most, young people.
So, thank you to President Obama, Hank Green, GloZell Green, Bethany Mota, Google, YouTube and everyone who was part of this event because you did something many people haven't before. That is respecting young people's opinion enough to be being willing to use the ways we connect to each other to allow discussions to be had and to wanting to hear the results of it.