The IUCN World Parks Congress has integrated many different forms of social media into the congress this year. There is a Facebook site, a twitter full of tweets, down to a flicker account (that has nothing to do with the birds). In partnership with these many social outlets, one of the WPC’s goals is to inspire youth.
Incorporating social media is one way to get youth more aware, but what can we do to get them INVOLVED! It’s one thing for youth to be more aware of the issues surrounding conservation and the environment but what can they do? The WPC is focusing on how youth can become more involved in their home countries, but what about here in the U.S. It seems more than ever that there is a disconnect between the youth here and the environment.
My question would be do these social media outlets encourage actual connections with the environment, or do they actually encourage a greater disconnect. Will youth think it’s enough to just be aware of what’s going on. What will inspire them to put down their phones, tablets, computers etc and actually go out and get involved. This might be different for communities that are less dependent on these types of technology such as communities in developing countries, but what about the countries where the youth are so deeply rooted in social media and technology. Why go out to the forests when you can see a documentary of the forests from your couch?
What will inspire our youth in the future?