It is not new information that teens seem to be the most fluent in the language of social media and technology. From scrolling down Instagram to snapchatting pictures of your coffee and croissant, the glow of a smartphone is often reflecting off of a teenager’s face.
One thing youth do not often seem to come across, in this never-ending exploration of the Internet, is the opinions and voices of themselves and their peers on the broader discussion table contributing solutions for important issues involving the Internet and its modern side effects. Why is this?
Maybe because youth are generally still viewed as the lazier generation, one that isn’t even interested in topics of substance or importance. With a Generation Z that seems to be more socially and humanitarian issue focused, I feel this stereotype is finally beginning to be de-bunked. From events like We Day, that occurs all over North America and the UK and has an attendance of thousands of eager youth ready to “change the world”, to generally more questions being asked about relevant issues that are occurring around the globe, youth are becoming more interested in getting involved and contributing to the world.
We may be glued to the Internet as a generation, but it doesn’t mean everything we are viewing is lacking in significance. The Internet connects youth from all across the globe that never in history would have been able to learn from each other before. It gives us access to issues that are occurring, and it shares opinions we may not have come across any other way. With the momentum of a generation swelling with change, we need to keep up with this and provide platforms for youth voices to be incorporated. Youth are living the issues adults are trying to resolve, without frequent input from those who are impacted most. From bullying online to privacy and security on the Internet, to balancing real life with all these modern ways to connect, Generation Z have a fresh angle to contribute.
The question is still: How? The best place is to start somewhere. The voice of one is better than the voice of none. I am just one youth with my perspectives on the world and this modern life, but through the following youth blog series I hope to share with you not only my voice, but the voice of many youth around me. It’s time we start to tap into the resource of our Modern Day Experts even more and hear what they have to say.