Care to Be Aware
March 11, 2016
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Our generation is increasingly ignorant of the world around us, consumed by the latest meme floating across your Twitter or Facebook feeds or wondering what dress you should wear to prom, which happens to be over a month away. Giving our attention to these unimportant happenings means not worrying enough about what is truly important, such as the threat of ISIS or which presidential candidate should be elected come 2016. In fact, a 2007 Pew Research Center for the People and the Press study found that Americans aged 50 years and older know more than younger people about the current events that envelope society. This is bewildering to me considering the accessibility of news today. By simply clicking the “follow” button on MSNBC or CNN’s social media pages, you gain access to a constant supply of current events that keep you informed about the world around you. It seems simple, right? Well it is, but you may still be left asking yourself, “Why should I care?” This is an understandable question, considering that you may be under 18 and have no political authority to vote on these issues even if you happen to be informed, but that should not equate to you not caring. According to Huffington Post, young voters aged 18 to 29 make up just 13 percent of total voters in recent elections, and those that did vote claimed to have paid significant attention to the election. Developing an opinion about important political and social concerns in our society is important because when you turn 18 and carry a little piece of democratic power in the form of a ballot, it might help if you had an idea what you were voting for. Maybe you think you are all set because you assume that since your parents always vote Republican then that is what you are entitled to do. This is not always the case, it helps to acquire your own opinion through outside, objective sources that allow you to think for yourself. Through simple tasks such as listening to both the local and national morning news while getting ready for school, or by continuing to read the paper like you are right now, you can gain a greater sense of what is happening in the world around you and develop an opinion regarding it. We are the future, after all, and some day soon we will have to step up and let our voice be heard in order to maintain the democratic paradise we are privileged to live in. So, next time you are “chillin” in your room munching on some pizza rolls while watching a marathon of your favorite TV show, consider flipping the channel to your local news and indulge yourself in what really matters, because being aware of how the world around you is functioning can spark a desire for change in the future.