I think being overwhelmed translates into a little bit of hopelessness. All of these problems and being so overwhelmed by all of them, and not feeling like you can make a difference… feeling like you have no power while you hear about all these news stories that are so tragic, and you don’t agree with them, but you feel like you can’t do anything about them… I wonder what the long term effect of that is.
I think a lack of caring is a huge part of any kind of issue. I think that we don’t care about our environment, we don’t care about the policies, and if we do care, sometimes our voices aren’t heard. So I would say with any kind of problem there is a lack of responsibility that people feel they have.
No one really thinks about this, but local politics are so important. I wasn’t 18 for the presidential election, but I am going to vote in my local election and I think that is something everyone should do. You might not be able to do anything on a national scale, but on a local scale, there is so much you can do. If you play a part in your local government, well, it’s a really good way to make changes.
We are contributing to the argument in a very uninvolved way, through Facebook and social media. No one is really doing anything about it. Back in the 70’s, you could see people protesting with picket signs and actually PROTESTING things, and now a days, its like, “hey, lets go on Facebook and fix gay rights”…? But they don’t actually DO anything.
E: Our generation is more concerned with money than any other teenage generation in the past… and also I think our generation likes to be passionate about something regardless of what it is…
S: I don’t know if that necessarily translates into action, but people do like to talk and say, “oh yeah, that is a big issue”, but sometimes I wonder how far people are actually willing to go to support a cause.
Our foreign policies are pretty messed up. To some extent I think we should come first and solve our own problems. Obviously we’re not perfect from within, but I think we’re not focusing on the right issues inside our country. There needs to be a reevaluation of these issues.
For one thing we can’t vote, so we can’t make a difference that way and for another thing, it just seems like there is nothing that we’re going to be able to do that is going to affect any situation.
I don’t really think it is recognized as a big political issue, but if there is any issue I could say is the biggest, from my point of view, it’s definitely the environment. I’m really passionate about that, but I also think people turn a blind eye. We’re so selfish and caught up in our own problems… we can’t even look at things from someone else’s perspective.
I’m optimistic about our generation. I think with the Internet we can address the issues in a different way that we weren’t able to thirty years ago.
The biggest issue is Congress, and both political parties coming to a consensus and agreeing on things and making decisions about our country, because right now we’re kind of at a stand still. No one is willing to budge on their beliefs, and that is affecting our economy, which we are still trying to recover from.
H: As young people, it’s important to have many of us, and there are many of us. We are the next generation, so it’s very important for us to talk ‘cause we can make a change. I don’t like one person; it’s all about the community. That’s what will make a difference.
I think we [as a generation] have the capabilities but I don’t think we know how to use those capabilities. We all have the skills, but to really apply those ideas and concepts to bigger ideas, well, I don’t think we know how to do that.
Caroline Gray, 18