Overtime, the definition and characteristics associated with ‘youth’ has altered. Globally, people assume and view the younger population as being lazy and egotistic. A common trend as appeared amongst the younger generation, they are disengaged with traditional politics and are concerned about their own quality of life. The emergence of young activists is on the rise; they are becoming active citizens and operating as political communities. The youth are passionate about various global issues such as equality rights, environmental awareness and to put an end to poverty. Young activists are addressing these issues and concerns by using the power of social media to change the world (Jenkins, 2012).
Social media platforms are playing are significant role in the success of youth political campaigns. Various social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr are being used by activist movements to motivate participants to take a stand for what they believe in. Social media reflects the values of a more participatory culture; it has assisted young people to share their personal stories to address the issue (Jenkins, 2012). Social networking sites have assisted youth movements to become influential players online. Clearly, social media platforms are an important ‘political educational tool’. Due to technological convergence, the use of social media has allowed online movements to reach a larger global audience; as a result it has enabled them to recruit international support from young activist.
The World Wide Web provides young aspiring activists with numerous possibilities to participate in global issues. Oxfam Australia’s ‘3things’ movement aims to transform young Australians into active global citizens, in the fight to create a world without poverty. The intended goal of the ‘3things’ movement is to persuade governments to adopt policies that support a poverty free world. The movement practices of participatory politics, emphasise poverty awareness and the steps needed to take positive action.
The gap between the rich and the poor is becoming so wide, young activists are fighting for change and radical democracy. The Occupy movement allows activists the right to voice their opinion and fight against economic, political and social injustice. Among the activists protesting are youths who are marginalized by race, class and university students who are unable to find jobs. Strauss (2011) explains that class warfare significantly impacts young people and cuts off the future. Since the youth are the future, the need for change is necessary. Therefore, it is important that governments worldwide work collaboratively to addresses and resolve the issues raised by youth activists. Since the youth are the ultimate symbol of the future.
Jenkins, Henry. (2012). ‘The New Political Commons’. Options Politiques.
Strauss, Jesse. (2011). ‘Youth movement in a culture of hopelessness’. Aljazeera.com.