Studies now show, regardless of how out of touch we Millennials may seem to be with current events and politics, we’re more engaged than what is generally assumed.
So the studies say.
It’s also safe to say we’re exposed to more current events, political agendas and world news, around the clock, than any generation previously. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram pretty much have us covered, never mind the television. (Do people still watch that thing?)
Yes, we may rarely sit down to a Sunday afternoon viewing Meet the Press. (Hi, we have Netflix). And the last thing we care to do when we get home from work is catch up with Nightly News, especially when we’ve already been informed of the verdicts, political controversies, and just how much money the Clinton’s are making from speeches when we’ve crossed it all about 5 times that morning on Facebook.
Truth be told we rarely want to watch the news.
(Well, that may be debatable.)
So, yes, I confess - this is coming from a place of minor conviction. I may have spent some previous years a tad too preoccupied with the newsfeed on Rotten Tomatoes than the Wall Street Journal headline story, or the current formation of my wardrobe rather than the current war in Afghanistan. At some point a girl just needs to grow up.
It’s not as if we don’t see what is going on in the world. We likely see it more than we care to. This year a study from the American Press Institute reassures us, Millenials are in fact aware and interested in current events and politics, despite what is commonly assumed. But, just as we are all aware that there is a difference between listening and really listening, (especially those of you who are married - or, so I hear) is there a difference between seeing and really seeing? Knowing and understanding?
Well-informed our not, the fact is we Millennials don’t appear to care about current events as generations before us. Mainly because we don’t appear to care enough to form a solid opinion. According to The Washington Post Millenials are the least likely demographic to vote in the 2016 Presidential Election. In the last election, exit polls indicated only 13% of Millenials in total voted. The articles opinion is blunt, as is its title, “Millennials don’t matter much - (don’t get too upset just yet) in American Politics”. It suggests most Millenials opt not to vote because we view it as ineffective; we feel voting isn’t for everyone. And just for the record, we are referring to the same right that the woman’s suffrage fought for just barely 100 years ago.
So while we may be aware, even interested, in world news and the upcoming elections, are we opinionated enough to have an impacting influence in our government?
While we may be well-informed (and yes, you can thank your App automated updates) are we concerned enough with what is going on in the world? About what is going on in our government? Do we care enough to make a dent in the upcoming elections?
It might be time that more of us paid more attention to headline new over our Facebook newsfeed. And not just to know what is going on in our government, but to ponder and decipher our own opinions and views on the issues.
And I know there are those of you thinking, “What the news feeds us is %@))$#!*”, “How can we ever believe what they’re telling us is true?” But judging our definition of reality, which half the time is engaged in social platforms that offer 13 filter options, truth is likely difficult for us to gauge already.
It may be easier to decipher where your knowledge of current events stands if you can agree with the following 4 points:
- You know more details of Bruce Jenner’s cosmetic changes than Hillary Clinton’s agenda for the 2016 Presidential Campaign.
- You assume that Jade Helm, who has "taken the web by storm", is some internet-famed stripper.
- You could more easily give a play-by-play of Tom Brady’s involvement in the case of the deflated balls, before giving a brief break down of the officers potential involvement in the death of Freddie Gray.
- You’re more concerned with what your next Facebook profile picture will be than what ISIS next move may be.
The fact remains, Millennials, I'm not sure how seriously some of us take the world outside of our social media-sphere. No doubt, we have more by-the-minute, resources of information at our fingertips than our parents ever had, more knowledge of current news than they had at their time. But what do we really do with this knowledge?
They say knowledge it power. Though, if our knowledge just stays up in "the Cloud," I’m not sure what good it does for us or anyone else.