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Social Media: An Outlet For Youth’s Political Voices

This year in our politically dynamic world, young people have discovered their own voices and personal beliefs. 2020 has brought two specific elements to our lives: COVID-19 and a presidential election. Amidst the chaos, youth in the United States have found a universal way to amplify their voices: social media. Lately, many teen Instagram feeds […]

Graphic by Kenny Ortiguesa (’22)

This year in our politically dynamic world, young people have discovered their own voices and personal beliefs. 2020 has brought two specific elements to our lives: COVID-19 and a presidential election. Amidst the chaos, youth in the United States have found a universal way to amplify their voices: social media.

Lately, many teen Instagram feeds have been filled with political rants on their friend’s stories and republished Instagram posts crowding their IG highlights. The best way for teenagers to spread their beliefs is through posting their self-acclaimed beliefs. Carmen Lloyd (‘22) says it is important to spread her opinions on her Instagram platform.

“I try to post political awareness on my Instagram for other people to see because I know when I see things like that, I click on it and read into it.” Carmen states, “I think posting on Instagram shows people what you’re thinking but also spreads awareness and gets your friends starting to think about what’s important.”

“I think teens’ political voices are underestimated because some adults just think we are too young or just follow what we see on social media, but that’s not always the case,” Carmen added. “Our opinions are so belittled sometimes, and we need to be taken seriously more often.”

Carmen also believes posting on personal social media outlets is terrific for spreading awareness, but older generations tend to undermine youthful, outspoken voices.

Tufts University recently came out with an informative statistic that notably shows how much more politically engaged teens are in the year 2020 than in 2016 and 2018.

(Tufts University )

Liam Fischer (‘22) believes being absorbed in government and social affairs is important as we grow up to be the next leaders of our world.

“It’s important to be politically active because we are the voice of the future, and our generation is affected by political actions taken today,” Liam says, “I think it is important we are all politically involved whether we are too young to vote or not.”

Over the weekend before the election, I asked my Instagram followers — CB students specifically — if their parents influence their political decisions.

After leaving the poll up for a full 24 hours, 62% of those who voted said no, their parents don’t influence their political opinions — the other 38% said yes, their parents do in fact influence their political opinions.

Instagram Poll Results

For my second poll questionnaire, I asked another question specific to CB students: “How do you amplify your political voice?”

The most popular responses I received were somehow related to social media, whether their response was TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Karina Elliott (‘22) finds that social media is a way for people to learn and form their own beliefs personal to themselves.

“Because of technology, we can share information with each other more, and there’s a lot of change going on right now so its hard to miss,” the junior says. “Once you start looking into it, you learn more [about it] and then it’s easier to create opinions and speak up.”

Liam also believes that posting on social media is a terrific way to express individualistic judgements.

“As a teen, what you can do to amplify your political voice is posting through social media, whether it is just a simple post, story, or petition.”

While expressing your beliefs publicly is crucial to making yourself heard, Karina also believes that starting conversations allows you to be heard as well. In her household, Karina is vocal about her viewpoints. “I talk to my family, give them my perspective, and they’re pretty open minded, so they always like to hear what I have to say.”

Being able to discuss different political topics with a variety of people can also help you understand and adjust your personal beliefs. Carmen brings up that it is really important to talk to people with different political views because they might say something you may shockingly agree with.

Just as Tufts University shared, youth in America are more politically inspired now than they were two to four years ago. Carmen believes this is because “teens are so motivated because there is so much going on, and I believe when adults were younger, they weren’t as involved.

“Social media is more advanced now, so we are able to get information quicker.”

As future leaders, the importance of forming beliefs and judgements is more important now than ever. No matter how you express your political self, all youth have an accessible way of articulating their voices.

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