Is Gen Z moving in a certain political direction?

Jenna Preston

A political poster ( targeted towards the Gen Z audience these last few years.

Oftentimes, we hear adults tell us “you’ll get more conserative the older you get the and more you learn,” but true is that? It seems quite common to hear this statement from either a parent or relative when you share your opinions that might seem too outspoken or far from the right side. But the truth is, I think a big part of Gen Z is moving into this direction rather than towards conservatism. There is such a difference in how teenagers think and speak today compared to when our parents were this age, it makes you question how there has been such a shift in political views for the younger generation. Another valid question to ask yourself is, are we moving towards this direction because of the access we have on social media and personal experiences shared online or are we simply evolving? 

Over the past few months, I feel like teenagers have been leaning more towards the left side because of the videos that have surfaced online and went completely viral. People who have never considered themselves politically involved are suddenly speaking up and sharing their opinions on the current news and this is a big deal. Social media is almost like the newest news source because of how quickly videos and information can circulate throughout millions of people in seconds. I think of recently, social media has been displaying some of  the most outspoken people who are proud of their views rather than afraid. As the Gen Z and other generations have gotten older, many teenagers have gone against their parents beliefs and chosen their own, and I personally think this is a good thing. Although it does cause issues sometimes, at least you know you are deciding for yourself rather than siding with something you don’t believe with just because your parents do. This type of defiance against parents when it comes to politics is definitely because of social media. Parents obviously aren’t going to be seeing the same videos and hearing the same stories as their child might be. There’s just so many platforms that are full of opinions that older generations simply aren’t aware of. 

If you asked me a couple years ago what Democratic and Republican meant or whether I agreed more with the left or right side, I wouldn’t even be able to give you an answer. But today, with all the information I’ve been able to gather and personal stories I’ve read on the internet I finally feel comfortable with my political knowledge. I think this applies to a lot of people. I never grew up hearing or reading anything about politics and it just wasn’t something I spent my time learning about, however it’s just way too easy to learn about the terrible things happening today and anyone can educate themselves on what’s going on in a few minutes. I no longer feel ignorant towards issues and take the time to learn, for my sake and others. With the current state of the country, I couldn’t imagine not knowing those terms now and not having a political opinion. I think the reason why so many teenagers are forming such strong political opinions during this time is because of the knowledge we are able to obtain by ourselves without necessarily needing help from parents or teachers. By looking it up on your phone by yourself, you don’t hear your parents or teachers opinions and can form one on your own.

I feel as if older generations often lean towards a more conservative standpoint because a large percentage of the leftist population from their generation were silenced, judged, or killed. History shows that poverty, medical inequality, police brutality, homelessness, and so many other factors that are specifically targeted towards minorities that lean towards the left have died before spreading their beliefs. Additionally, these longtime leftists and liberals in our country didn’t have the same resources, technology, and access to the stuff we currently have. They didn’t have the internet to share their experiences and personal struggles to millions and millions of people who could possibly learn from them and empathize like we do today. 

Today’s generation has unlimited access and opportunities to post our own thoughts and experiences with others. However, this is a blessing and a curse. While you are able to find support, help, and basic human decency online there is still tons of hatred. That’s probably the biggest downfall to having some much freedom online, considering people are given the same freedom to spread hatred, racism, and judgement to people within a couple clicks.