Published On: Fri, Oct 6th, 2017

How Millennials are Changing Our Views on Politics

That the generation of Millennials has a particular distaste for political leaders is no secret at all. A survey published in the book ‘Running From Office’ by Jennifer Lawless and Richard Fox, found an overwhelming majority of high school and college students who saw nothing particularly noble about those currently in office.


Image source: Pexels

So what does this mean for the future of politics? While some may mistake the youth’s negative view on politicians as disinterest, others point out that we might experience a shift in how we view politics in general – and changing the world may very well be through technology rather than elections.

 

A lack of integrity

Anyone who has been around for a while may share these views of politicians, regardless of the generation they belong to. Increased corruption and a severe lack of accountability lead many to doubt whether actual change can be done through elections at all anymore.

The Millennial Impact Report from this year reveals a bit of what hides behind the facade of tech-savvy youngsters, ready to reply to any comment on social media, and always up to date on the latest celebrity gossips.

They are, in fact, quite disappointed with the political landscape that’s been laid out for them; only 29 % says the country is moving in the right direction, while almost 50 % says unsatisfied or extremely unsatisfied with the President they elected last year.  

 

The election of 2016 opened the eyes of many, leading them to question how they can stay true to their views and ideology, as well as finding the right kind of camp for their political opinions. Because Millennials are actually politically active – they would just prefer to avoid the term activism.

 

We still believe in voting

They launch e-petitions instead, scrambling together as many signatures as possible, and reaching out directly to legislators through social media. Twitter has been a wonderful thing with regards to getting the younger generation involved and interested; new technology such as Smartmatic is even making the voting process safer for future voters.

Millennials do believe that voting is the only way to make a change, despite their dismal opinions on the latest election.

The Impact Report above found that they’re putting their disappointment into action instead, with as much as two-thirds of the respondents having voted in the last election.

Despite their frustration with those currently in office as well as the results of last year’s election, they still believe voting “will lead to the change they want to see,” and the public can look forward to new and ground-breaking ways of being involved in politics and sharing our opinions – also when giving our votes.

 

Different tactics of activism

They choose different ways of activism than the previous generations, and the study found that they are more interested in ground-level activity than the national scene; 41 % states that they support local causes, compared to the 19 % who is interested in national ones.

When it comes to national politics, It’s perhaps not the game that needs to be changed, after all, as much as the players who are participating.

The younger generation is a ‘supporter’ of a cause rather than an ‘activist,’ and while it may seem like there’s only a difference in terms, those who label themselves as supporters are less likely to participate in direct activities such as demonstrations.

Maybe this is the reason some seem to think the younger generation has lost their interest in politics; where they were used to seeing politically engaged youth gather in the streets, they’re now mobilizing their forces on social media and technology instead – ‘supporting’ a cause, of course.

The study found that they are likely to engage and active in educating themselves, but organizations need to watch their language when reaching out to them for support. They may learn more about it, share their views, and even support the cause – but they won’t necessarily commit by calling themselves, activists.

It’s a natural change, really, and negative associations to what it means to be an activist may have helped shape Millennials’ view on this. Social media is the best way to reach out to them as well as keeping an eye on the kind of terms the organizations use.

With Millennials in the lead, or also known as generation innovation, there’s much reason to believe that technology and new inventions will help shape the political environment in the future.

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