“I personally don’t vote because I don’t feel that I know enough about the topics to have an opinion on which party to vote for. I think if the politicians made short points on what they want to achieve and these were something I found interesting then I would read on and go from there but to me they all seem quite confusing.”
Meet Holly, she’s 21, and although I do choose to vote, it doesn’t stop me agreeing with her that it’s confusing. I’m never sure whether I’m happy with my vote because even after putting the effort in to research, I always feel like I haven’t been able to access information I fully understand.
Does politics need to be brought into the digital age?
I know politicians have started trying to use Facebook but from what I’ve seen posts are either cringey or bland.
What I’d really like to see is infographics to simplify information and animations or videos that break down the complex things. And I don’t know whether humour is risky in this arena but I think ‘Thug Life’ Cameron has had way more hits than anything serious!
“As a student my life is pretty hectic with deadlines and job applications so I don’t have much time to go out my way to catch up with politics. I don’t often watch the news, and debates and articles just seem too long. If political parties started posting things that are quick, simple and more relevant to me on social media I would be more likely to get involved. I don’t think politics is accessible or even interesting for a lot of young people. I definitely think social media would get me a bit more engaged.”
There are only a couple of things that have really impressed me in terms of bringing this General Election into the digital age: Verto and the Labour website.
Verto is an app that helps you see which party most represents your views. You swipe left if you agree with a statement and right if you disagree about issues surrounding you, your area and the country. Then it shows you how the different parties fall on each of these issues. The app has been designed to be quick and easy to use and is a really positive step towards engaging the younger generation in politics.
According to what students have told us, they want to navigate to what they want on a website within two clicks. The Labour website is the only site where I’ve seen this is possible (the Conservatives have failed miserably in this respect), it has some nice design features and the information is written in language I understand – again, another step in the right direction.
I’m hoping that in years to come, instead of the younger generation feeling alienated from the world of politics and so avoiding it, that the barriers to clear information will be brought down and politics becomes very much part of student life.