Source (Credit Yasified Shak)
Politics is the thrilling debate of world affairs revolving around influential individuals who seem to have a generalised idea on how to run a country and the needs of their citizens. Well, apart from the youth of course.
The youth of today are powerful, but yet forgotten. Politicians seem to target middle-aged to retired individuals with policies, completely disregarding the needs of generation Y. It appears they forgot we are the future. As Al Jazeera states, “young people have been culturally alienated by the political and economic systems of the country widely regarded as the example of democracy.” Our needs are just as important as any other generation.
Source (Credit Jeremy Smith)
As a young person myself, I can see the youth of today are completely transforming activism, ensuring their voice is heard. The incorporation of technological developments have allowed them to create an influence far beyond anything seen before. Individuals are able to hack computers, and distribute information across the globe.
Kony 2012 became a viral initiative when a video uploaded by the Invisible Children depicting the cruelty of child soldiering in Uganda circulated across social media. Henry Jenkins states, “The video’s rapid circulation was heavily fueled by sharing among high school and college students as well as church groups.” This sense of activism is common amongst generation Y. Social media has become a rapid communicator for events, issues and stories across the globe. As Jenkins highlights, “According to the MacArthur survey, 58 percent of American youth forward links or share information through social networks at least once a week.”
Participatory politics enables the youth to contribute to global initiatives like Kony 2012. Although young people may avoid the common portrayals of activism they are still actively involved in politics while having their needs recognised, reiterated by Ian Fyfe, “the existence of a wide range of forms of participation ‘demonstrates that young people are not a homogenous category with the same political experience or policy needs”. Therefore the way we view activism and contribute varies.
Jenkins, H 2012, ‘The New Political Commons’, Options Politiques, pp.1-4.
Fyfe, I 2009, ‘Research youth political participation in Australia’, Youth Studies Australia, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 37-45.