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Thursday, October 11, 2012

This New App Might Help the Facebook Generation Give a Crap About Politics

Posted By on Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 4:20 PM

That'll certainly push some buttons
  • That'll certainly push some buttons

Back in 2008, the Millennials flocked to the polls in record numbers, showing that young people actually do care about politics -- or at least more than in previous elections. And pollsters are expecting the same kind of election love from American youngsters this time around.

But how exactly will the Facebook generation vote come Nov. 6? That's the question UC Davis researchers had in mind when they developed a smartphone app to gauge students' reaction to the presidential debates in real-time.

The app, which was field tested during the first presidential debate last week using 12,000 students from six universities, lets users agree or disagree with the candidates' arguments with one touch of a button. It also allows them to call out the candidates when they think someone is spinning the facts or dodging a question.

Ultimately, the app is supposed to help educators engage the younger generations and hopefully get them more connected to politics, said co-developer Amber Boydstun.

But whether they care about politics or not, Millennials are starting to really care about the economy, especially as more and more of them are being forced to move home with mom and dad after college.

Perhaps this is what brought them to the polls in record numbers in 2008; the 2012 presidential election promises to bring even more. In fact, 76 percent of Millennials plan to vote in the upcoming election, up from 51 percent in 2008 , according to a poll by Generation Opportunity.

We were really interested to know the results of the UC Davis test; however, researchers have not yet returned our calls. We'll update this post if and when we hear back.

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Coburn Palmer


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