Note: Haven't seen the video yet? Check it out at whatdoyousee.ie first.
A new study of 15 to 24 year olds reveals 4 in 5 young people feel the Irish public have a negative view of them with the vast majority (71%) citing the media as the reason for this misrepresentation. Almost 1 in 3 young people reported a lack of confidence and an enormous 57% feel that the media has contributed to that.
When asked in more detail about how the media portrays them, 74% of young people say media exaggerate stories about youths today. In stark contrast, when asked, only 24% believe Irish people have actually had a bad experience of young people, suggesting that the media has a strong influence on Irish people’s attitudes. However, 65% of young people feel that Irish adults don’t take the time to get to know or understand them.
We commissioned this research to mark our sponsorship of the Young St. Vincent de Paul (Young SVP) Youth Development programme, which encourages young people to get involved in social action and promotes their social and personal development. The results demonstrated a disconnect between how young people in Ireland today feel they are perceived, versus how they really are.
We thought this was unfair to our young people. We felt that we needed people to see things differently; for how they really are. To coincide with the research we decided to create an interactive video experience in an effort to show the public how sometimes their perceptions of young people don't always match up to the reality. We asked them to answer one simple question - #WhatDoYouSee?
Of the respondents who had taken part in the Young SVP programme, 57% said it made them more confident, 62% said it made them more aware of social justice, 48% believed it made them more ready to help other people, and, amazingly, 39% felt the programme made them more job ready.
Commenting on the campaign, Kieran Stafford, National Vice President at SVP said:
"The results of the research speak for themselves; young people in Ireland are doing amazing things, and everyone should be doing more to celebrate this. We are thrilled to be supported by Electric Ireland on this and other programmes so we can reach thousands of young people across the country and help those young people express their true value to society.”
Through the support of Young SVP, Electric Ireland ensures its commitment to Smarter Living reaches even the most vulnerable in society and empowers young people in Ireland to make a positive impact today.
You to can help change the public's perception of our young people by sharing the #WhatDoYouSee experience.