Youth Studies professor James Côté explains that the debate about youth participation in politics is between those who worry about youth’s lack of involvement in old formal politics such as voting and political parties and its replacement, the new “techno-politics” of informal involvement using ICT.[i] More than half the world’s people use a smartphone (4.9 billion), more than half of the 3.7 billion Internet users access via their phones, and 2.8 billion are active social media users.[ii] Facebook has over two billion monthly users. Africa has the least connectivity, with only 29% Internet users, followed by South Asia with only one-third of Internet users. More than one in five people shopped online in the last 30 days.
[i] James Côté. Youth Studies: Fundamental Issues and Debates. Palgrave Macmillian, 2014, pp. 194-2010.
[ii] Simon Kemp, “Digital in 2017: A Global Overview,” We are Social, January 24, 2017.