Yesterday I had another one of those seminal moments with my oldest daughter who is 14 (going on 22). It was just the two of us and we were running errands and then out to lunch at one of our favorite dives. Over hummus and Gyro sandwiches we started talking about politics, the candidates and current affairs. I was actually having and intelligent adult conversation with her, hearing about her political views and those of her friends. She had some interesting thoughts and ideas and asked some very bright questions. I was very proud of her. I have waited 14 years for this moment!
As a parent first, then a broadcaster and marketer I was very curious to know how and why she formed some of her opinions. To my surprise, she told me that she discusses this with her friends. I was impressed! We might have an activist or a politician in the making.
Then I realized, that with the advancement of digital media it has become increasingly easier for youth to find out what is going on in the world. I'm not suggesting that a 14 year old reads the drudgeReport, CNN.com or Foxnews.com. Although, when they log onto their myspace and FaceBook accounts there are links to RocktheVote.com and ads for all of the candidates both nationally and locally. On the home page of MTV.com there are news stories about the debates, the economy and they are also registering people to vote too. YouTube has section on the race as well called YouChoose where there is a wealth of information on all the candidates and videos of speaches, debates and more.
I can tell you that at 14 I was not as politically aware as kids are today. The information simply was not as easily available or even more importantly, targeted to me, either directly or indirectly as it is today.
Then, there are even more strategic websites like thegreatschlep.com. This is a website developed by the Jewish Council on Education and Research. The Great Schlep features a video by comedian Sarah Silverman that is targeted to Jewish youth and college students who have grandparents that reside in Florida. It encourages these kids to convince their grandparents to vote for Obama.
Watch the video here:
What ever your political leanings are, you have to agree that this is targeted marketing at its best.
Finally, another source of information to youth is television and on-line video clips. Last night, Saturday Night Live did a hysterical parody of the Vice Presidential Debate, featuring Tina Fey and Queen Latifah.
Watch it here:
Talk to your kids. If you don't have kids talk to your friends kids. It's fascinating and you just might learn something. My friend Darice Putterman said it best.
"The world thru eyes of your own child, your teenager, your young adult daughter or son....ALWAYS enlightening to me, refreshingly so..."