Hypocrisy among youth vote

College students love to root for candidates, plaster bumper stickers on their laptops and bash whichever candidate they deem most likely to cause the world to end, but registering to vote and voting are getting more rare in our generation. I bought a shirt with Bernie Sanders’ face on it before I had even registered to vote.voting

Lots of people talk the talk, but how many people walk the walk to city hall?

The presidential election is by far the most talked about election, but people forget the significance of making decisions at the local level. In fact, my vote could hold more value and power within smaller local elections than when determining the next president.

My vote matters on a national scale, but locally I can see visible changes in the context of a smaller community.

Our generation needs to learn to embrace our role as community members, rather than disconnected college students. Millennials’ growing use of social media for political participation is changing candidates’ campaign tactics and expanding the context in which political conversations happen.

Social media seems to be an up and coming political platform that has already proven to have a huge impact on elections. It’s already influencing the national election by serving as an outlet for voters to express their opinions, communicate with candidates and facilitate informal conversations between candidates.

While social media may be changing the political process, it may however, also be leading to a drop in millennial voters. Between 1978 and 2014, voters between the ages of 18 and 24 dropped from 25 to 17 percent, according to Harvard’s Institute of Politics.

Millennials may not be voting because they feel social media platforms suffice a familiar and quick way to share opinions.

“People feel like they have more of a voice when they are on social media because their friends can see it and they have that instant gratification,” junior Megan Proulx said.

Social media seems to be the new voting ballot for younger generations. These resources have allowed this demographic to participate in a way they are familiar with. However, this isn’t reflected in voter participation.

The signs are clear: our nation’s voting system needs to take new and innovative approaches in order to engage younger voters.