Duh, What Even Is Politics?
A well known stereotype is that modern youth do not relate to politics, are not educated in politics or do not care. Sure there may be SOME youth that don’t ‘care’ about politics but it is wrong to say that youth are not educated or relate themselves to politics. I found, that, to understand where these stereotypes and claims come from, we need to consider advances in technology, changes in behaviour between generations and the way the world is now, socially.
Traditionally, the general public interacted with politics by simply being aware and voting when necessary but in today’s age of advanced communication, information is being spread ‘out of control’ to the point where “being aware” is complicated and just voting is almost the minimal one could to interact with political matters. Youth today don’t want to be tied down to one group and due to the generation gap, older people see this as not wanting to be a part of the political society.
How Do You Politics?
Activism seems to be something talked about in politics with frequency and passion. Activism is “the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change“. It’s a way to express your opinion or stand up for a cause, directly, without the hassle of dodgy politicians or without putting all the power into the hands of a party that you agree with on one point but not on another. It’s also utilised to bring about social change in nations where the vox populi have no power.
A big name in the activism world is Anonymous. Anonymous is a group of hackers that use the internet to attack sites that belong to organisations that they deem to be treating people unfairly. Characterised by Guy Fawkes masks, members of anonymous are not known and so the organisation cannot be taken down easily but they have often been branded criminals because of the ‘violent’ nature of their ‘attacks‘.
In the wake of the passage of the 2011 immigration enforcement bill Arizona SB 1070 Anonymous hackers and affiliates hacked Brazilian government websites and leaked personal information of police officers in the Arizona state department as well as used credit card details of the police officers to make donation contributions to various relevant causes. Acts like this are examples of how youth (among others) are standing for their opinions while walking the thin line of illegality, hence they are easily criminalised.
Just Try To Colour Within The Lines
Personally I find the whole ‘activism’ thing a little too much on the extreme side but hey, too each their own. Another form of political involvement is just raising awareness or expressing your view on a topic in the public sphere. For example, I support marriage equality and gay and lesbian rights. I don’t march in large scale protests but I like to watch parades such as The Mardi Gras. I don’t ‘attack’ those who disagree with me but I do sign petitions and raise awareness. I don’t follow a specific politician or political group but I, just like many other youths are aware of political issues and do make legitimate contributions to society politically.