Walk the walk: Don’t just perform your politics for social media

Walk the walk: Don’t just perform your politics for social media

Walk the walk: Don’t just perform your politics for social media
September 03
09:00 2018

Living on a college campus, there is one thing other than street preachers you can’t escape: politics.

We’re surrounded by seminars, polls, informational courses and heated discussions. Politics flood every news platform and trends on Twitter on a daily basis. Everyone catches themselves talking about the latest @realDonaldTrump tweet — you know, seeing as how it affects our foreign policy and could send our democracy tumbling down at any second. No big deal.

More and more each day, it seems that social media has evolved into another facet of politics.

In response to the demand for public school safety, many young people have taken to advocating for social justice and political awareness online. The youth is practically begging officials to pass more sensible gun control reform policies. These high school crusaders have done everything they possibly can, leaving them envying one privilege that many college students take for granted: the ability to vote.

I’ve observed many college students tweeting and retweeting outrage-filled articles and threads that express displeasure at our current administration’s controversial policies and decisions. However, I know the majority of these online activists do not actively participate in local politics or even statewide midterm elections.

College students aged 18-29 make up a whopping 21 percent of the population eligible to vote, yet records show this particular demographic has one of the poorest voter turnouts. This may be due to the fact that such a low percentage of this demographic is even registered to vote. Many are so new to the practice that they don’t even know how or where to vote, much less know how or where to register. This doesn’t even account for out-of-state college students who must follow an entirely different protocol in order to possess the necessary identifications to vote in a foreign state.

Though social media activism can aid in providing a platform to display injustices that must be remedied, it is more important to inform yourself and others on ways that you can make a real-world impact. Your retweets will only get so far, but participating in local elections, going to town halls and voting in the midterms will enact actual change.

This upcoming midterm election, the young generation needs to rise up and prove that actions speak louder than words. Instead of remaining complacent with the current political state of this country, let’s take advantage of our democracy, cast our ballots and let our voices be heard.

Featured Illustration: Austin Banzon

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Xaviera Hernandez

Xaviera Hernandez

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