Farnham, Shelly D., Keyes, David, Yuki, Vicky, Tugwell, and Chris
In an increasingly networked public, the Internet and social
media provide rich opportunities for reconnecting youth
with their civic life. In a questionnaire study of 578 14-20
year old youth, we explore the relationship between Internet
technology experiences, civic efficacy, community
identification, and civic engagement in their everyday lives.
Contrary to prevailing stereotypes of digital youth, we
found that most rely on email and text messaging to
communicate with others in their local communities about
civic issues. Further, those more experienced with
technologies in the public sphere (such as blogs, wikis, and
Twitter) had higher levels of civic engagement. Teens who
strongly identified with their local community and who had
higher levels of civic efficacy were especially likely to be
civically engaged. These results highlight the importance of
encouraging youth to emotionally connect to their local
communities, and to do so online in the public sphere rather
than through more personal communication channels.
Publisher AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media
Copyright © 2013, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (www.aaai.org). All rights reserved.