General Elections: YouTube voters live in a different world
I am a YouTube voter.
The first time I cast my vote in 2011, I "caught" most of the rallies through videos uploaded on the video-sharing site. It's one of those things made convenient, thanks to the Internet. And I didn't have to worry about missing out.
My world is dominated by mouse clicks, page views, 140 characters or less, and videos that don't come off a TV screen.
In short, the Net.
And this world, the world of my generation, is one of the things Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong touched on at Wednesday's media round table.
I am of the generation, he said, that is changing the fabric of society today.
And what he said - making sure the person we voted can best represent us in Parliament - set me thinking.
In response to a question about voting in opposition as checks and balances against the ruling party, he said: "However election outcomes turn out, within the Parliament, you have got provision for NCMPs, for nominated MPs.
"There is no possibility of Parliament being completely PAP.
"There will always be different voices in Parliament, and in today's world, there is an infinite number of voices outside of Parliament."
The "voices outside of Parliament" - the bloggers and social media pundits - are very much a part of the world I inhabit. Our reference points are very different.
Like Mr Lee said, his parents kept going back to World War II and Japanese Occupation while the generation that came after will remember the post-independence struggle.
We feed off whatever is shared on the feeds of various social media platforms.
The nature of news and social media is that for us, the YouTube generation, causes and ideals gain traction with one's click of the mouse, political or not.
And there are instances of people who managed to raise awareness and funds for their causes within a short period of time by putting up their campaigns online.
I, too, am guilty of my fair share of "likes" and retweets just to spread the causes I support.
But it is a valid question whether a person who champions for issues I agree with is the same person who will best represent my needs and wants.
"A person who sits in Parliament but is not competent, is not going to be a check on the government," Mr Lee said.
Competency, he added, means being able to question and debate about policies intelligently in Parliament.
So I ponder if social media popularity equates to a good representative in Parliament. Being passionate and idealistic may not mean competency.
But it is also clear that political parties have some way to go in engaging us.
The Prime Minister recognised this two years ago and played catch-up with his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts,
It's tough work, he conceded, boiling down content into small chunks and interspersing serious messages with light-hearted banter.
There will always be trolls who "pollute the environment and space". (They are blocked on his Facebook fan page.)
Likewise, no society will be complete without cynics, Mr Lee acknowledged.
It will be an ongoing challenge for the PM to engage these cynics and trolls through social media, the platform they thrive on.
So while I agree that we, the Web-savvy, have to sieve out the competent from the merely passionate, I'll leave you with this, my final point: If you don't reach us in the world we populate, don't understand the way we communicate, and don't make your ideas viral, it's likely you won't reach us and our hearts at all.
Share your views with Jie Ying at email@example.com