Posts Tagged ‘voicebox’
It’s a testament to the giant influence and command the internet has on our lives that for the ‘Anatomy of Youth’ launch event seven young people have spent the afternoon locked in a basement frantically typing away. For those that haven’t been able to make it, we’re the ones in photographs looking pretty darn tired!
We were all tasked with tackling different sections of the report, and it’s fallen to us to deal with the one that covers ‘Digital Identity’. I guess we were drawn into doing it as we’re both slightly 1337. Ste Prescott, another v20 member will join me on this blog, and for future reference anything in bold can be traced back to his giant mind. Just for reference, here’s a photograph of Ste, in case you want to chase him down a street at some point.
Let’s start with breaking down the title of this section. What is a digital identity? Having read the report, and from our own experiences in the internet world (Ste is a web designer and James is Social Media Consultant) a digital identity covers a whole heap of online information, but it can be broken down into two simple types:
- Online profiles: the ‘Public Image’ we aim to project to the rest of the world
- User generated content; blogs, comments, status updates, reviews
I’m sure everyone that’s dipped their toe into the strange world of Facebook, or indeed adventured into the shameless self promotion of Twitter understands what a profile is. So for the sake of calling everyone who’s reading this a geek we’ll move on and address the concerns that come with ‘living online’ and having ‘digital identity’.
In a passing note, Jon (another v20 member) expressed a very interesting opinion in his blog “Changing Communities – The Disconnect”, he mentioned the sadness he feels that people are more invested in online communities – with individuals the other side of the world – than they are with their own communities. In a strange show of individualism, I’m going to throw out a 45% view. It’s true that we are disconnected to our local communities, but I wouldn’t say that this is a direct result of the development of online societies. Perhaps the breakdown of local communities is a result of the modern transience of families and the increased flexibility of employment. But let’s not get sidetracked!
Ste has dragged out two factoids from the report and expressed his points about them:
42% of 16-24 year olds claim to know someone who has been embarrassed about information that has been uploaded to the internet without their consent. This is pretty normal for most of us that are on Facebook, a lot of times when you sign in you’ll find yourself tagged in a bad photograph.. no one asked for your permission but it’s up there for the world to see.
60% of 14-21 year olds have never considered any potential future effects of posting personal details about themselves online. This seems to draw on the fact that we as ‘youth’ are invested far too much in the here and now, and not the potential ramifications that having this information online could bring.
The most pressing issue for us, is that young people – well in fact most people that are online – don’t realise how much information they’re giving away by being online. Facebook makes you agree to their terms and conditions when you sign up, but how many people actually read it?
The internet is now no longer a purely personal realm. Companies are researching their potential employees before hiring to make sure they fit with their businesses ethos, and a lot of people are falling foul of the internet police. Comments made in jest can lead to the loss of a job, as many political candidates in the 2010 General & Local Elections will testify.
A more worrying element is that our online profile is being monitored by a wide range of companies, some for marketing purposes others with potentially more sinister intentions. We’ll leave you with a worrying thought, the CIA now own part of Visible Technologies – one of the biggest social media monitoring companies in the world – through their investment arm In-Q-Tel…
Beware what you put online… in case it comes back to bite you!
Having written a post on this topic over on the Voicebox site I felt it to comment on this subject here. The ideas of a ‘Lost Generation’ is pivotal to attitudes towards young people presently. As the Anatomy Of Youth’s second chapter indicates, the discourse and far reaching implications of the fabled ‘credit crunch’ upon labour conditions present a massive challenge for young people everywhere. As social theorists have noted, there is a clear correlation between the state of labour conditions – influenced in itself by economic resonances – and social relations and thus the social order. This order, in effect, is skewed and the result? Society is taking it out on young people.
This chapter addresses these discursive issues – the fundamental problems of which, lie in the favouring of older people over younger ones. There is a proven inequality currently in society. The detailing in the report first invites us to ask, then quantatively answers, why it is that young people should be helped.
The answer within this can be located in the future according to the report. As the report elaborates ‘this point in history is not a good moment to be young in the UK’. The far reaching affects of the slump will potentially cause massive cultural issues amongst this demograph in the future and thus is spawned the idea around the ‘Lost Generation’. The nation has been held in a situation where a lack of jobs, the cutting of hours and the arrest in broad hirings have resulted in a surge of university applications. So much so that 130,000 people had to be turned down.
This disbalance of the current social climate lies within the ideology surrounding social mobility as the second chapter of the report concludes. The newly formed roles and professions emerging in the ever changing economy cater to the skills sets of the youth. Young people now have the tools to really influence the societal structure, but it is employers who seem to be lacking the initiative to engage with this demograph. The report attempts to bring light to these issues whilst questioning the role of young people in our societal structure. Can employers cater to this generation? Is Britain prepared for these socially active, hyper connected, web savvy generation of kids? Does it want to?
I should hope so.
Take a peek at the report for a furthered response to the subject – it’s good reading, promise. Nice.
Being a member of v20 and working for the youth empowerment charity Envision I see and meet many young people that are active and effective citizens; young people that are volunteering, campaigning, starting their own projects and making a positive difference to issues they care about.
Chapter 7 of the Anatomy Of Youth report explores young people and the trends and challenges around being an effective citizen. Today there are many more ways to make a difference as a citizen. Young people have many avenues to express their opinions and campaign online, young people are pursuing careers in social and ethical areas and many express their views on things such as fair labour through what they buy. The chapter also highlights the lack of connection that exists between young people and political culture. Young people feel disillusioned with politics and politicians. The report explains that young people’s apathy towards politics is now greater now than at any point in history.
For me the chapter throws up two main concerns. Firstly, whilst some young people are ‘hyper engaged’ as effective citizens there are others that are completely disconnected from both wider arenas of active citizenship and traditional forms of political expression. We need to make sure that efforts are made to engage everyone as effective citizens. Secondly, whilst it’s positive that there are an increasing number of ways to be an effective citizen, these need to be accompanied by traditional political citizenship. As Stuart White points out democracy provides us with the opportunity to change our society – if the next generation becomes disengaged from it there is a risk that it will only represent a narrow section of society. We need to recognise the power of government, use our votes and hold politicians to account.
To enable young people to be the most effective citizens they can we need to be inclusive in our efforts to continue to encourage and expand the many ways that people can be active citizens. This needs to be accompanied by traditional political citizenship. I think we need better citizenship education in schools and, as the report highlights, there needs to be a transfer of political capital to young people so they can become more involved with and excited about politics.
“The two qualities needed to tackle climate change will be ‘imagination and optimism”
Boris Johnson, quoted in Anatomy of Youth
“I want to do something about climate change but I don’t know how” – sound familiar? You are not alone, this is the response three-quarters of young people aged 16-24 gave in some recent research.
Anatomy of Youth is generally quite positive but it is said that since we don’t know what we can do we are “a generation deeply ambivalent about making personal sacrifices”. Do you agree with that? I definitely do not. For a group of people described as being “the first generation to know what it means to live without carbon,” I feel greatly uneducated. Researching for background to this chapter, I was shocked that there was so many projects for young people or by young people around the theme of tackling climate change. I like to think of myself as an amateur eco warrior – choosing a vegan diet as it is better for the planet, generally hating plastic and upset when proper recycling facilities do not exist – but I had not heard of one of these projects. Maybe the problem is publicity?
Another key problem is that we are children of luxuries; flying causes a major carbon footprint yet only 10% of people surveyed agree with making flying (and driving) more expensive to try to decrease the impact.
Now is the time to make a difference and and tell your politicans what you think. The new government will be working hard to battle climate change and will want to hear from you. Be the change!
Further reading and projects to get involved in:
www.cdproject.net – Carbon Disclosure Project
www.juliesbicycle.com – Julie’s Bicycle
http://landshare.channel4.com – Landshare
www.foodworksuk.org – FoodCycle
http://otesha.org.uk – The Otesha Project
www.planestupid.com – Plane Stupid
The negative stereotypes of today’s youth as,’ violent’ ‘disrespectful’ or ‘apathetic’ were challenged, head on, today by the results of a innovative and straight-talking online youth poll, conducted by v as part of our new online youth insight project, Voicebox.
Voicebox is specifically designed to give 16-25 year olds a platform to express their real views on a variety of topical social issues, ranging from crime to the community, and blows apart the idea that the young generation are ‘apathetic’ or ‘disengaged’. The research actually showed that young Britain’s top 5 concerns in order of priority are (1) Education (2) Their Future (3) Employment (4) Family (5) The state of the world.
Rather than demonising today’s youth, the research paints a far more positive picture of today’s 16-25 year olds which the charity hope will open the public’s eyes and inform government and policy makers. The poll found that 85% of young people said that they or their friends don’t carry knives; 86% of respondents had never shoplifted goods worth more than a fiver and 69% did not agree that drugs were ok for recreational use.
More worryingly, what the poll did reveal is that young people are becoming increasingly disillusioned with society and the government with 71% of young people believing that we do not live in a fair society; 59 % of young people feeling the world is becoming a worse place; over half (54%) of respondents saying the recession has affected them and only 10% of young people feeling that politicians are the best people to change the country.
Further results revealed that 78% of 16-25 year olds do, in fact, respect their elders; 75% of young people are happy with the relationship they have with their family and 68% of respondents are content living at home. A stark contrast between many modern day perceptions and the truth of what it’s really like to be a young person living in the UK today.
To find out more about Voicebox, head to http://voicebox.vinspired.com
As MPs go back to work at Parliament, a new study has shown that just 10% of young people believe politicians are best able to change the country. But the results also show that young people do care about the world they live in and the charity v has come up with an innovative way to make MPs sit up and take notice. A new addition to the House of Commons today will be an interactive robot.
At a time when only 3% of young people have ever contacted their MP, the robot – nicknamed Voicebot - is a very modern twist on writing a letter to your MP. Until Thursday, young people can visit a website, put in what they care about and the robot will write it out, stroke by stroke, word by word, directly to the politicians.
Before entering Parliament, Voicebot has been collecting comments from 1000s of young people, including:
“Why do politicians get longer holidays than primary school kids?”
“Young people are generally seen as people who like to cause trouble but really I think it is because their opinions are ignored”
Voicebot is part of v’s proactive research campaign called Voicebox, with over 5,000 people having taken part so far. The project is live and constantly evolving. The more young people that participate the more accurate picture we’ll create of young Britons. The robot will be in the Houses of Parliament until 15 October.
To tell MP’s what you care about visit www.voicebox.vinpsired.com