When was the last time you noticed an opinionated political conversation occurring between a couple of teenagers that didn’t involve President Trump? How many high schoolers have enough knowledge or interest to engage in this conversation? The greatly fading interest in politics, national and international, is dangerous because teens who don’t want to be involved with politics are more likely not to be.
A problem teens who care about politics face is the uninterest of peers in topics of political interest, and the consequent ignorance about local and international affairs
In a generation where any information one desires is in their own pocket, you would think more people would be informed about current issues. Sadly, this is not the case. Many people, even those who aren’t teens but rather young adults, are losing their intrigue and inspiration in regards to politics.
People are more interested in reality TV shows, gossip or their own lives to stay updated on sluggish politics. When kids who are already uninterested in politics see this, it makes them think there is no need to be aware of what is happening in their country and their world.
This is obviously not the level of interaction at which we want our citizens. The beautiful thing about technology is that we can use it to increase our understanding of our environment and surroundings. Depriving ourselves of knowledge on the basis of interest is not only hurting the people around you, but also it is removing your power to change the world.
This generation is addicted to a higher level of entertainment, and what it takes to keep us interested is multiplying every day. Because of this, teens are desensitized and drawn to high-impact events in the news and do not find interest in slow-moving politics. Then there’s fantasy. In video games, a village can be developed into a city of skyscrapers in mere weeks, whereas in politics, it takes an average of one-hundred and fifty-three days (about twenty-two weeks) for a bill to become law according to the Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG).
This absence of immediate results or instant gratification is one of the main causes of teens’ loss of curiosity and absorption in politics. It makes sense that slow-moving and seemingly repetitive politics would not greatly appeal to this country’s youth.
Since it is a personal choice to stay uninvolved from politics, you may wonder why it matters and think your involvement will never really affect anyone else. One thing that needs clarification is that abstaining from politics and being uninformed about them are two very different things, and the latter has never helped anyone.
Being informed about international politics can help people to form intelligent opinions and makes it much easier for individuals to make perceptive decisions. It can also inspire people to put those opinions into their own community and place a more educated vote for government officials, big or small.
The youth involvement in our country is critical to the development and success of the United States. This generation will be the next voters, and they need to be able to make the right choice based on occurring events, not juicy rumors and slander.
During the American Revolution, the colonists were all aware of the poor administration of the outside British Parliament. They knew about the trade restrictions and taxes being levied against them by Britain and knew how it hurt them as a whole. Because of their knowledge, they were able to form a concise opinion. After their peaceful attempts to do what they believed to be right failed, they decided they wanted independence and declared war.
How different the revolution would have been if the people of the colonies weren’t aware of what was happening around them. There would not have been protests such as the Boston tea party, and they may not have been inspired to declare independence.
There are some simple fixes to this problem, some of are seldom done, but they do exist and are possible. Simply expanding platforms on which news is presented will make it not only more attainable for teens, but moreover informed while being entertained.
Along with this, parental and peer encouragement is a great way to get the youth involved in both local and international politics. Simply strike up a conversation about something you heard on the news and inform someone who doesn’t have knowledge of that event.
By educating the youth and providing them with good habits, we prepare them for any future political contingencies in which their voice may need to be heard. Every person’s opinion does matter, and a single person can inspire others.
Keeping teens and young adults involved in politics incorporates a large portion of the population to help better our community, our nation, and the world.