Political Involvement Requires More Than Social Media Posts

Political Involvement Requires More Than Social Media Posts

To be an active member of the tumultuous political society requires a conscious, constant effort.

You log onto Twitter and amidst the memes that make you chuckle and the vine threads you could spend forever scrolling through, there lies a seemingly misplaced political tweet with only a few likes and many capital letters and exclamation points. We’ve all been there: sometimes it's Twitter, other times it's Facebook. People post their heated rants with the thought they will change opinions, and we continue scrolling.

It makes sense that these posts are in abundance. Older generations have scorned our generation for not being politically active, and we have platforms to share our views right at our fingertips. So uploading our ideas to the site of our choosing seems like a step up. But we are going about it all the wrong way.

To begin with, there is an overwhelming amount of counterproductive name-calling that further polarizes individuals from opposing parties, discouraging bipartisan thoughts—the thoughts that accomplish goals and bring much-needed compromise. The mudslinging comes from both sides. The right shames the left, the left shames the right, and so on. Internal conflicts also arise, turning those with common goals against each other.

Following the name calling, a slew of opinions without facts to back them up litter our feeds. With sparse information to backup harsh insults, friends with differing viewpoints are enraged while friends with similar thoughts remain unchanged. So you watched the news for twenty minutes and heard one company broadcast one headline. You are not an expert. A lot of your friends have stopped reading the feisty rant.

What progress has been made? Those who liked your post already thought exactly the same way. Little progress has been made in that regard. Acquaintances that fall into the grouping of people you bashed find themselves upset and dismissive of your views (and quite possibly your friendship). Others disregarded your post entirely, and the audience you can reach grows smaller.

Yet, you smile. Your duty as an attentive citizen has been taken care of.

As a fellow young adult in today's social media driven society, I urge you to reexamine your political involvement.

Have you looked at sources from multiple vantage points? Have you challenged your own opinions by turning to media that caters to an audience that is not your own? Have you tried having an adult conversation with someone you disagree with?

That means no name calling, listening to what the other has to say and using facts to back up what you believe.

If you are screaming from the mountain tops for change and wonder how it will come about, ask yourself the following: have you called your senators or congressmen? Have you written letters to government officials or lobbying agencies? I'm not saying you must. We all have busy lives with a vast array of priorities. I would be hypocritical saying you must. But if you sit there scratching your head, wondering what you have the power to do, there's a start. There are many more activities to participate in; only a little research on your part is necessary.

What I am asking you is to reconsider your political involvement, and to think before you post. Are you merely hitting “tweet” and checking off a duty on your to-do list? Is what you are adding to the never-ending landscape of the internet productive?

To be an active member of the tumultuous political society requires a conscious, continuous effort. It requires one to keep up with current events, perform a bit of research and hold engaged discussions on pressing topics. The world needs the younger voting population to take an interest in politics. The world needs those interested to educate themselves.

Don't be quiet. Be smart. Inform yourself, and when you speak up, your voice will pack a punch.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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I Am A Millennial And I'm Proud

We're not dead yet. So we can't be that bad, right?

This will most definitely be a controversial topic, but I feel like this needs to be said.

Today millennials are the most hated generation yet. Perhaps that's just because every generation prior to the one before has something bad to say about them, but I believe that we millennials get the worst commentary on our actions. And I honestly have to disagree with what most of the world has to say about us.

Millennials are great.

It's true. Many people are just so used to seeing the opposite perceived in media that they don’t think any different. There has been so much hate thrown at this generation and it's absolutely crazy. To think that the entirety of our generation acts like those that you only see in the news or other types of social media platforms is absurd. I understand that there are a lot of millennials that act disrespectful and ungrateful, but 90% of the millennials I know have a much different story compared to that in the media.

Millennials aren’t begging off their parents, laying around the house with no job, pretending as if they have no sense of responsibility whatsoever. No, most of the millennials I know are employed, sometimes with more than one job, going to college, and paying bills to help keep a roof over their family’s heads for those that still live with their parents.

The rest of us are just trying to survive. We aren’t lazy. The world and economy is too unstable for that. We are busting our tails trying to make a living while still being able to afford an outrageous amount for education (because you can’t get a REAL job without some sort of degree these days).

And for the way millennials seem to act is wrong too. We often get called disrespectful and “snowflakes.” I’m not saying all millennials are saints. That is far from the truth. We are all capable of mistakes, but it’s a far stretch to blame the entire generation for what a group or community get fame for.

Would you say that all Christians are back-washed and racist because the KKK was a group of “Christians” that also liked to murder and torture the black community? No, you wouldn’t because that is not accurate. Nor should you all assume we are all disrespectful like certain youtubers. *cough Logan Paul cough* So, therefore, you can’t all label us millennials as lazy kids who all still depend on our parents and party all the time.

And most kids act the way they do because that was how they were raised. So then, if that's the case, shouldn't you blame the ones who raised them? Just food for thought.

As for the “snowflake” comment, to that, I ask: What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with a little sensitivity.

I find nothing wrong with a generation that seems to care about others and their well-being. We learned to care at times when others didn’t. We learned to care for those who had no one to care for. We learned to love those who were different and learned to be accepting of their differences whether or not they inflicted ours.

We are a softer generation and I honestly think that’s what our world needs right now. With all the heartache, don’t you think it’s time to just accept one another and worry about real problems affecting our country? Don’t you think it’s time to come together instead of dividing ourselves? To love one another?

Sensitivity shows that we care and that’s something to take pride in. I know people may hate the political correctness and other sensitive topics, but its just to show respect and acceptance. This is not to say that generations prior to us are not respectful or accepting. Perhaps they were taught another way or maybe it’s just another “tough love” thing.

Or perhaps we are just more vocal with our feelings nowadays. We all feel, but voicing our emotions is what really allows us to connect with other people and to feel normal. Maybe that’s why we are called “snowflakes.”

Other generations may have struggled, but we have our own struggles too. We are trying to survive with an unstable economy and market and we don’t take it out on you as some would suggest.

We have our faults, there's no doubt about that, but instead of blaming us, try realizing that you're not perfect either and throughout all the generations that have come and go, we're not dead yet. So we can't be that bad right?

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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3 Reasons Why You Should Stand With The Nation's Children And Make A Change On Guns

Will you?

I am a college student. I am a product of the public-school system. And for years, I have been terrified of the potential of a shooter coming to my school. This is my story, and it is shared by children all across the United States. It has become a part of our culture. And that is sickening.

This does not need to be a part of our lives. These senseless tragedies need to stop now. I believe I speak for all my peers and educators when I say we are not going to take this anymore.

The recent tragedy in Florida shook me to my core, and as I speak with those around me about the event, I feel helpless. Besides feeling angry, disgusted, and sad, what can I do? This repetitive cycle seems unstoppable, an insurmountable feat that I don’t know how to conquer.

It’s been a little over a week since the shooting in Parkland and while I’m sitting here feeling hopeless, those whose grief is not even fully comprehensible to the rest of us are taking a stand. In an article from the New York Times this Sunday, I read about how the survivors of the shooting are raising their voices while grieving. Please take the time to read it for yourself, so you too can have the experience I did.

Change is possible, but only if we work to make it happen. For those of you reading who are students, I believe it is our time to rise and demand some real changes in the legislation. Some real focus on what can be done to protect students and end these senseless tragedies. Because I don’t think there is just one answer to ending this. But I do believe we need to put our attention as a nation on this issue. The time is up, and we won't rest until there is no more.

Please take the time to consider taking these steps to make a change.

1. Contact your senator and ask them what they’re doing to address gun violence and school shootings.

202-224-312 will direct you to an operator that can connect you to your senator, or you can find further contact info here.

2. Sign the petition to participate in the National School Walkout on April 20th.

And then follow through.

3. Keep the conversation going about gun violence in schools.

If we stop talking about it, the problem only gets worse.

Whatever your political leanings, I think we can all agree that something needs to be done about stopping these tragedies. If we work together, we can find a real solution.

Cover Image Credit: CNN

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