My morning surf of the Internet revealed that a sequel to the Joseph Kony 2012 mini-film has been released. Until a few weeks ago when I was discussing social media and the latest from YouTube with a group of young people, I had only vaguely heard of Joseph Kony (click here for more information).
Leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, widely referred to as the LRA, my knowledge had been gained thought the limited coverage on the national TV news. The young people I talked to knew more about the issues and were more informed and engaged. This has all been down to a 30 minute film on YouTube, which was hard hitting and direct.
I watched the film with great interest only to find out I was one of a staggering 100 million viewers who watched it in less than one week! It was nothing like the communications I have seen before which traditionally I would have thought would have captured young people in such an engaging way. It was (by YouTube standards) long at 30 minutes, contained no humour and was very direct and to the point. It had a call to action and invited everyone to make a difference. It has made me think hard about the way in which we are reaching young people.
If we are to make a difference to young people’s health and life style, if we are to communicate and engage them then maybe we should look at what we are doing. The no-smoking, stop binge drinking, eat healthier messages are largely falling on deaf ears! Perhaps we should be looking more to social media, stop packing it pretty and start providing factual messages to reach those we so need to influence.
The new film is billed to provide more details and context to the Joseph Kony campaign, aimed at pressurising politicians to hunt down the notorious Ugandan warlord. If the reaction to the first is anything to go by, this latest release will only add to the widespread debate and discussion and hopefully the much needed action to stop this movement! I would recommend that everyone should join the debate and those responsible for communicate key messages to young people, stand up and take note as there is something for us all to learn.
Opinion | Social Media, Youth