Social Media Shapes The Standards Of Modern Political Involvement

Social Media Shapes The Standards Of Modern Political Involvement

"How can one be truly politically informed if their only exposure to politics exists virtually?"
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It is no longer a surprise to see self-proclaimed political enthusiasts—particularly those born in the new millennium—voicing their views on current issues over social media. Gone are the days when young adults would spend hours standing at street corners as they shout into megaphones to encourage resistance against governmental regulation.

While protests are undoubtedly as present as they always have been, it appears most prefer to sit and rant behind the screens of their smartphones, tablets, and computers. What little is achieved by this, one can only guess. How can one be truly politically informed if their only exposure to politics exists virtually? Without external involvement, there is no way to ensure the truth of what is published online.

There was once a time when movements strictly required supporters to attend in-person meetings and participate in events. Nowadays, petitions are signed online preventing individuals the opportunities to question petitioners about their initiatives. Of course, there are many clean-cut 'helpful' videos provided for those on the fence. However, society proves consistently guilty of belittling the basic human need for face-to-face communication such as, the opportunity to watch a petitioner's face falter when being questioned from a certain angle giving way to their doubts in the very cause they supposedly support.

The gradual fall of modern political involvement dates back to the early 90s, a time in which community service programs sprouted nationwide that required high school students to complete approximately 40-60 hours of volunteer work in order to graduate.

As with anything, once something becomes required, it tends to no longer be considered enjoyable. For example, academic institutions are notorious for their tedious reading assignments causing many former booklovers to burnout thus leading them to detest the idea of reading for leisure much less cracking open a textbook.

With this, it is not the government's responsibility to influence the interests of our youth. A teenager aspiring to become a veterinarian will certainly relish volunteering at their local humane society by viewing it as getting their foot in the door of the career they strive to obtain rather than shoveling animal feces every day in order to resentfully satisfy a high school requirement.

Perception has been proven to be the leading motivational factor in young adults. By requiring them to partake in community service, we rob them of their right to freedom of choice. Those with ambition will naturally act upon it of their own accord. Depriving them of this privilege may result in a lack of appetite for furthered participation in social concerns that once interested them.

At best, most of our youth are now lead to perform as virtual activists from afar rather than offer in-person contributions to a noble cause. If we seek change within society and the way our government is run, we must act upon it, become qualified, and use our platforms for the greater good. A legislator will not seriously take into consideration the views expressed in a sixteen-year-old's ill-informed outburst on social media. So why not become the legislator?

Cover Image Credit: The Woven Blog

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Political Activism Doesn't Have to Be Intimidating, Despite What You May Believe

My experience has taught me to embrace opportunities to be politically active, not shy away from them.

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In January of my junior year of high school, I was invited by a close friend to travel with her and her mom to participate in the Women's March in Washington, DC. The issues that fueled the march were extremely important to me and so I jumped at the chance to go.

I remember driving up the night before and hearing on the radio the estimated number of participants for the march and not being able to comprehend that I would be surrounded by so many like-minded people. While reassuring, the prospect of being surrounded by so many emotionally-charged people, especially following the presidential inauguration that sparked a very wide spectrum of people to be in the city, was overwhelming.

The morning of the march I remember walking outside to get coffee and seeing women, men, and children wearing the now infamous pink hats all around.

When it came time to walk over to where the march began to hear the array of speakers for the day, it was hard to walk far at all without running into a crowd of people going to the same place. However, instead of being chaotic and overwhelming, I felt a sense of pride in the fact I was participating in something that mattered to me and impacts so many people, but also a sense of security in that everyone around me was overly kind and dedicated.

The chants and cheering that were broadcast on national news surrounded me all day and not once did I feel unsafe or unsure of my surroundings. I felt like I was part of something bigger than myself and knew that while my presence didn't necessarily make a huge difference in the state of things, it made a huge impact on my life.

Putting myself into a situation where there is a lot of controversies was scary at first. I was afraid of being judged, out of place, of being somewhere that would turn violent and so on. However, I could not be more grateful for the invitation to attend the march because it was truly a life-changing experience.

My senior year, so this past year, was when schools around the country held walkouts in the name for gun reform, safer schools, or whatever motivated students to walk out in the name of ending gun violence at schools. In all honesty, a few years ago I never would have participated, not because of a lack of interest, but because of the concerns I previously held before the women's march.

Again, I am so glad I went to the walkout and was able to hear my peers speak about their concerns about gun violence and be able to look around me and know that I was in the company of other passionate students.

No matter your cause or conviction, I encourage everyone to no longer be complacent with the world around you and let your voice be heard for issues you feel passionate about.

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