The older generation is always looking at us Millennials, repeating like a broken record that the younger generation is simply politically apathetic. Now, I would have agreed with this narrow statement years ago because at that point in my life, I had not stuck even a finger into the political pool. But with the 2016 presidential elections nearing, and within our engaged community at Rider, I see that our generation is more involved in politics both on a national and campus wide scale.
With the familiar faces of some of the political candidates in both the Republican and Democratic parties, such as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I found that immediately more young people were buzzing about politics than ever before.
Through social media, our generation is able to connect and see the action going on during events like political campaigns and debates, and gain knowledge and voice their opinions right on their mobile devices. From this, others may respond with their own points of view, which may rally more political disagreement or agreement among peers.
Social media plays an extensive role now more than ever in politics. And who are the ones who most frequently use these sites? Us. The Millennials.
While scrolling through your Twitter feed, without even searching, you can be up to date on the political news that is popping up from one second to the next from followers and sponsored ads.
We are able to see the major issues facing the world, including climate change, health care and education. From just taking a small glance at a topic that catches your interest, you can become more intellectually and politically involved once researching more about that issue, thus taking a side in campaigns. This is where I see the major growth of the relationship between our generation and politics.
Certain celebrities who share their political views publicly may also influence many of us Millennials. Public stars, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, are very open about whom they support and the political views they hold. When they speak about their views nationally on award shows and live events, their goal is to make themselves heard, and hey, it works.
From general comments about campaigns, speeches or the political debates, I have seen increasing interest and opinions being thrown into that political pool through social media. From shared videos, photos, articles and even political satire, it seems to me that our generation is more involved in politics than others may perceive.
Even on our own campus, students show much political interest, whether if it is running for a board position for a club, being part of the Student Government Association or attending Rebovich Institute events.
Without realizing it, many of us are politically involved and show interest in one way or another no matter how much some of us want to stay far away from any political pool. So the real question is, do we want to live up to our “politically apathetic” stereotype?
Sophomore journalism major
Printed in the 04/13/16 issue.