“If the news is important, it will find me”
College Student of Jane Buckingham from Intellignece Group
during a focus group on the “social media generation“
This simple little quote is quite profound and gives us massive insight into how the world of news and communication is being viewed by the so called “social media generation“.
I came across this article completely by accident while browsing the web and doing some research for a blog post and it quite simply made me stop in my tracks and consider what the implications of this statement are. Such a huge pity we don’t have the name of the student that said this simple simple words.
Reading through the article by Ben Stelter called Finding Political News Online, the Young Pass It On in the New York Times it goes on to crunch some eye opening numbers regarding the percentage of people in different age groups and where they gain their information from. While all very interesting it misses the point on what this simple statement signifies to the social media generation.
The point is…
Think about it, the next generation will only value information that comes directly to them from their peers, friends and social groups and if they haven’t heard about it then it could not be important. Have we any idea what affect this will have on issues not directly affecting people in the future.
Will the social media generation actually give a damn about world affecting subjects such as starvation, wars or other such crisis or will they become a nucleus of self serving groups all more interested in who’s dating who and the latest fashion trend within their social group?
That views a little extreme in my book, I think the opposite will actually occur (and is occurring right now). Our ability to gain new information rapidly from a range of independent sources such as twitter, social bookmark sites and blogs and of course Google search is something that was beyond comprehension a mere 3 years ago but is the norm today and growing at an incredible rate as more and more individuals become involved.
Subjects broached by the people we meet, people who we may never have had the opportunity to listen to before in such an intimate and personable way and the subjects that interest or even concern them can become a very real part of the social media generations future so rather than pushing big issues out of the way it actually can help to make them smaller, more managable to us individuals and also more important.