Youth engagement in politics is the process of involving young people in discussions, debates and voting. In many ways, this is an age-old practice — from Socrates’s “Socratic cafes” to the youth movements of the 1960s that inspired modern political parties today.
However, this age-old engagement has evolved significantly over the last decade. The rise of social media, coupled with concerns about growing apathy among younger generations, has created a perfect storm for greater youth engagement in politics. Let’s take a look at some key factors driving greater youth engagement in politics today.
Social media has transformed engagement in politics. From YouTube videos to Facebook debates, social media has made it easier for young people to be more engaged in politics than ever before. This may be down to the fact that social media has created a platform that is particularly suited to connecting with people from different ages and backgrounds.
The rise of social media has also allowed for new ways to engage with politics that couldn’t be possible before. For example, social media has made it easier for young people to be part of online activism efforts like Black Lives Matter protests, which could not be achieved before.
Youth activism has also seen a surge in recent years. In recent years, there has been a concerted effort by organizations to make engaging with politics a young person’s thing.
From political parties organizing youth wings to making engaging with politics a young person’s thing easier to non-profits that aim to engage young people in activism, there has been a significant effort to make engaging with politics a young person’s thing. This effort has been particularly successful in countries like the US and UK, where youth engagement in politics has always been high.
Growing Disillusionment with Politics
While engagement in politics has seen a surge under the rise of social media, there has also been a parallel surge in disillusionment with politics. This disillusionment is particularly evident among young people, who have grown increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of change in politics.
This frustration is particularly evident among younger people who have experienced the Women’s March, or the ongoing debates surrounding the #MeToo movement. These movements have forced many to question the slow pace of change in the world and to have a more critical look at politics.
Women in politics
Similarly, while engagement has seen a surge in many countries, there has also been a parallel surge in the number of women becoming involved in politics. This surge in women in politics has also been driven by social media and the different ways it has empowered women to become involved in politics.
From presidential candidates on social media platforms to local councillors, there has been a significant increase in the number of women getting involved in politics. This surge in women in politics may be a sign that we are living in a more gender-equity-conscious world, where women no longer need to be told to engage in politics.
Rather, it could be a sign that young women are growing disillusioned with politics because the number of women in politics is still dramatically lower than the number of men.