In an effort to understand how the internet was used to bring the youth voter to the polls on Election Day and why it is not being used to bring that same constituent into the healthcare reform debate, this article examines one of the most intriguing pieces of online political dialogue to circulate YouTube during the last few weeks of the presidential campaign. The widely circulated YouTube video known as "5 Friends" features high-profile celebrities ironically encouraging viewers to see the act of voting as a "trendy," even "hip" behavior. In this article, I refute the assumption that youth voters lack political stamina beyond the ballot boxes, and I reframe our assumed disengagement with healthcare reform as being, instead, a response to the absence of multimodal political discourse being aimed our way.

About the Author(s)

Jessie Blackburn is a doctoral candidate in Composition, Rhetoric, and Literacy at the University of Arkansas. Her research is situated at the intersections of feminist composition pedagogy, New Literacy Studies, and the freshman composition classroom.



Persistent Identifier


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Included in

Rhetoric Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.