We’ve got “covfeve”, Hillary Clinton speaking about politics at a programming conference, Kathy Griffin vs Donald Trump on Twitter, Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk talking about the President’s climate change beliefs, and all other kinds of tech notables using their platform to promote their political and ethical beliefs. There’s no doubt that our kids are growing up being more aware of the polarized political landscape we live in than ever before.
I remember knowing there was a President when I was a kid. I remember hearing a thing or two about impeachment and adultery but I didn’t care or pay too much attention. I was a preteen and I had more important things to deal with. Mainly video games, girls, and baseball. I don’t remember hearing anything about politics while I was in middle school or high school. I registered to vote when I was 18 and voted for who my family said would be a good choice. Now, the people who run our favorite entertainment companies openly state their disdain or support for our government officials. Protests have hashtags and political videos and memes go viral equally because of people agreeing and disagreeing with them. It’s obvious to our kids now that we are living in a volatile political situation.
Political opinion is formed by who you grow up listening to. It used to be formed by parents, grandparents, and the culture in your local community. Globalization now allows our kids access to every opinion from any voice they want to hear from. Many times these voices are people mom and dad may not be comfortable with. Declaring whether or not that is a good thing is not the intent of this article. My goal with this article is to give understanding to parents who are confused about why their kids grow up to think differently than they do.
Your children live in a globally influential world instead of the small section of the country that we grew up in. I grew up in Texas, New Mexico, and Missouri and believed the better part of what I was raised to believe. The global landscape of social media (which is just the state of the internet in our culture) has caused many of those beliefs to shift or even outright be changed. Not just for me but for most in my generation and younger.
Parents should be aware, whatever your thoughts are on today’s hot political topics, that your voice is most likely not the loudest voice in your children’s lives. The Snapchat Discover page, that YouTube vlogger, Instagram influencers, and even Twitter are telling them whatever message they’re more interested in soaking in. The algorithm’s on these platforms provide them with a steady stream of reinforcement for whatever it is they’ve been tapping or clicking on up to this point. Opinion isn’t being formed by their church, their school, or their family like it used to. It’s formed by anyone and everyone in the entire world. Whatever your thoughts on what your kids should believe or where they should form these beliefs, I just wanted you to know where it’s actually coming from.