London. A city with streets paved with gold...chocolate bar wrappers and rude people. But within its metaphorical walls lies a gold mine. Google Campus is neatly tucked away in a back ally near Old Street tube station. Created by the 'search overlords of the internet' (is that right?) to fuel social media start-ups, in it you will find everything typical about a modern, super-creative atmosphere, jam-packed with furniture straight out of an Ikea catalogue accompanied by awesome Spotify playlists. Stylish thick-rimmed glasses are omnipresent and amongst a hubbub of clattering creamy lattes and Apple Macs, brilliant minds discuss new and ingenious ideas over Skype and.... err, tables.
The 'campus' exists because there is a belief that it will enhance our - the general public's - lives; make us more efficient at work, help us buy a house quicker and even order shopping at a click or swipe of a button. They're the new, more accessible versions of 'think tanks', visualising the online utopian concept of 'working together' helping to create something invaluable we can all use. Things like apps for our phones and computer programmes so that some of us can play games online (or how about Snapchat? Where would we be without that source of saucy sorcery?) is just a nice thing. It works. In fact, the online thing works so well, we tend to take it all for granted on the whole.
But why hasn't politics - more specifically, voting and influence - transferred into the realm of smartphones and micro-thinned tablets? It makes no sense. There is an obvious social disconnect here.
Discussion is the basis of modern democracy. Without it, we wouldn't have old men and woman wearing slightly different jackets shouting at each other in a very old building in central London. But, as far as I'm aware, politics has yet to embrace social media and its technology fully, which is where most of the 'social conversation' is happening. Governance should fully embrace its social side and swipe away the cobwebs of bureaucracy, #obvious.
Currently, yes, political discussions do take place online with fervour, of course they do. Just one shave of Jeremy Paxman's beard and the whole country takes to their laptops to vent their opinion. But what I'm talking about here is the ability to vote online and make a real difference to our lives with the same devices we use daily anyway to check our bank accounts and the weather. Politics needs to appeal to a younger generation. Without them, the system lacks proper representation, and disillusion sets in. It basically fails.
Recently, Russell Brand said he didn't vote because he finds the process irrelevant. Whether you agree or disagree with the statement, its impossible to ignore the impact the message had with a large portion of the public. So, if it's all about the process, why can't social media come into play? If voting was as easy as swiping a key on your phone, wouldn't more people - especially young people - get involved? If candidates could set out their agenda on a local Government app, for example, wouldn't more people respond?
I'm not proposing for one second that I have the ultimate app to bring this all together. Or even know where to begin. However, what I will say is this - modern democracy is the fairest political process we've come up and unless we reform it in some way, it may be under threat. If Russell Brand has his way, revolution could be on the cards. People of Google Campus, please come to our rescue and bring about change. You're our only hope.Suggest a correction