Millennials Have Found Their Favorite Cause: Net Neutrality
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Adulting

Millennials Have Found Their Favorite Cause: Net Neutrality

Young people should use this energy to further more movements.

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Millennials Have Found Their Favorite Cause: Net Neutrality
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From my experience as a college student and a high school youth government program participant, I can say with confidence that older generations who doubt the empathy, passion, and drive to fix our world’s problems in young people are sorely mistaken. I also know that your average college student or high school kid doesn’t have a full taste of the real world yet. We’d prefer our parents to pay our bills and we’d like to lay in bed and miss our 8 a.m. classes here and there (or more than that). But the world is a more serious place than the playgrounds, our first apartments in the undergrad years, the dorm, or our family homes.

When I’m looking for a break from my easy lifestyle, I go to Twitter like a lot of young people do. I see the random and often uninteresting tweets from former high school acquaintances, funny videos I’ve watched countless time, and political tweets. That’s sort of how my timeline looks. And recently, I’ve seen a wave of young people tweeting not just about a funny video or their relationship goals or the things that make them crazy during finals week, but about something so much more important net neutrality.

Net neutrality is hard to explain and understand, but what it comes down to is our freedom to access the internet and the freedom of groups and individuals to produce and publish content on the internet. It’s like our tech-free speech. And today, our politicians and officials are aiming to end the concept of net neutrality — the concept that allows college kids like me to browse Twitter as they please.

If we lose this freedom under newly proposed regulations, it’s going to cost us to surf the web as we please. Take a look at Greece and other nations without it. There, you’ll find a price tag for amounts of service. What was my between-class comfort and relaxation could now be the detriment of my bank account.

Now let’s slow down because nothing is for sure yet. But on the other hand let’s not slow down, because this is a real threat. And because it’s so real, it’s one of those things where young people defy their usual complacency towards politics and jump to their social media to fight for it. And I’ve seen us fight on occasion, but this movement is huge and spreading.

Everyone has taken to their Twitter to spread petitions and messages all about saving net neutrality. We’re fighting for our freedom as this Trump administration threat aims to take over part of our lives. And yeah, you’d think we’re just fighting for our social media. Which I guess we are because I’m not trying to pay to post my Insta pics or tweet about my finals week emotions. But when you really look into it, we’re fighting for our livelihoods.

Part of all of this bothers me to an extent. Because I feel like sometimes it takes millennials and young people in general too long. Why is it that it seems like net neutrality is the first or largest issue that we have fought for and been outspoken about thus far? We’re making Twitter jokes about this and it seems almost selfish because now that an issue could take away our ability to exercise the privilege of having technology and cell phones and the internet, we’re really angry. But why couldn’t we make Twitter jokes about other issues and crises in previous years?

I know I’m complaining, but I also know there’s a lot of good that we’re doing. Young people do fight. We do march, protest, take to the streets, and speak up. I just wish we were quicker and I wish we did a little more.

I had a friend who told me something very wise one time. As I groaned on and on about the election of Trump (as I usually do if you’ve followed my articles the past year) she said there is a silver lining. She told me that even if he is so horrible, he’s created a movement in our nation of fighting back. And while I loathe him in the highest form, the movements he has spurred, like young people fighting for net neutrality on Twitter, are what I’d thank him for. There’s a lot of bad in our nation right now. But I think despite all that, 2017 has been a year of courage.

And our students and young people are as courageous as ever. Net neutrality is vital and when we get rid of it, we are taking the first steps to what could become authoritarianism. Our government is trying to limit us slowly but surely, and when they cut off this freedom, they are succeeding. Students are issuing a plea for our ability to surf, but also research, study, connect with our families when we’re away, and explore the world from our own laptops the way technology has so beautifully allowed us to. Our leaders need to hear our plea. And if they don’t, at least we’ll prove our older counterparts wrong.

We’re not complacent. We just need to fight a little harder and bring the fight for net neutrality that we’re in now to every battle on the fronts of civil right, social justice, and defending our freedoms. We still need to work on showing up every day, with our courage, intention, drive, and spirit to defend the country that is being ripped away from us by this radical and hateful presidency. You’ve seen us fight and now, we’re getting tougher and fighting harder. Don’t doubt the strength of millennials we’re not just a bunch of kids glued to our phones.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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