Gen Y Finds Online Entrance to 2008 Presidential Race

While browsing over Facebook.com scouting for interesting photos or juicy gossip recently, I was struck by a public comment written by one friend to another.

“I can’t believe you had the gall to become an Obama supporter after I threw a Hillary at you.”

After a little investigating, I discovered that a special application on the site, called SuperPoke, allows you to “hug,” “high-five,” “hit the beach with” or, yes, even “throw an [insert politician name here] at” any of your online buddies.

You’d think that when it came to current events, Generation Y would be too busy surfing YouTube and updating their online profiles to take much notice of the presidential campaign. But that’s just it: They are surfing YouTube and updating their online profiles, and these days the political campaign is meeting them there; embracing the Internet. Everything from campaigning to fundraising to voting is affected by it, and with Gen Yers turning out in record numbers to cast ballots, one has to wonder: coincidence or consequence?

In a February blog entry, CNN political commentator Jack Cafferty asks the question: “Why are young people so interested in the 2008 election?” A posted reply from “C.” in Houston reads: “Young people don’t focus on what has been. They focus on the here and now. They use the Internet very effectively, exchanging information, and they love commercials. I believe they have always had an interest in elections but were shut out.”

Indeed, the widespread dissemination of information via the Internet…


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