By Keziah Washington
Today’s youth have a major responsibility that is being ignored and taken for granted: voting. Many people today are not taking the time to watch the news or figure out who is representing them. With all of the technology available lately, being informed about the society we live in is even easier than ever. Knowing this, the fact that we, as American citizens, don’t care enough to put in the small amount of effort needed to check voting polls and listen to the people who represent us is simply sad and very unacceptable.
Though it may not seem like it, voting affects everyone, no matter what. Wouldn’t you like to have a say in the laws that you have to follow or the decisions made about problems in the community we live in? These things can change your life in as little as a second and it doesn’t matter if you like it or not because, by not voting, you are preventing yourself from having a say in how you live. No one wants all of their decisions made for them without being able to give reasonable insight to those making the rules for them.
When was the last time you watched the news? For many people, the answer to this question will be “I don’t remember” or “It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to pay attention to the news.” This is a huge problem in society today. The feeling of wanting to be involved and informed has withered away. Some find the news to be pointless, sitting only for a few moments and being the most unentertained they have ever been. Others simply think the world is too cruel and don’t want to sit through news about the sad things happening around them. These reasons are common in everyone around us, but they still are no valid reason to remain uninformed.
As I stated, today’s technology offers multiple ways of staying connected and informed. Even so, we still choose to stay disconnected with our representatives and political issues. What is the reason for this? Could it be as simple an answer as laziness? Maybe. There has been a decline in voter participation* and it needs to be resolved. We aren’t benefiting from sitting at home. We have to go out and put in the effort to make a difference in our everyday lives.
If we do not make an effort to vote, we will eventually lose our voice completely. This can be prevented if we, as US citizens, take the time to get informed and care about what happens in politics. Teens are the main source of this change since they will be the ones who are voting for what happens in the future. Knowing this, teens need to become more consistent in watching the news and paying attention to the people who represent us. If teenagers take the time to do this, it would make a huge difference.
*For data related to civic health and voter participation, visit Spartanburg Community Indicators Project’s Civic Health web page.
The LWVS Blog is authored by members of the League of Women Voters of Spartanburg County with a central editor.