Guest Writer – Anonymous February 20, 2021

For better or for worse, regardless of age, we are all affected by the influences of social media. No more so than younger generations (i.e, Gen Z) who will shape the future of politics. Younger generations use social media as their only political news source. Apps like Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram, all largely left-leaning platforms, are used as a source of information and news. This news is usually biased, filled with misinformation The goal is to degrade the Republican party. Rather than do more research, many individuals believe what they have read to be true. If this continues, the future of the GOP will be bleak.

When using social media many seem to be unaware that they are only receiving half of the information needed to come to an accurate conclusion. Although many young people believe what they read on social media, they need to learn to question it and learn how to properly do their own research. Luckily, I learned this myself when I was in high school.

I was 17 when I had my first introduction into the world of politics. I was taking an advanced placement government class in high school and I found myself wanting to learn more every day. I left every class period with more questions than I had walked in with. Since the 2016 election was only a few months away, we had many discussions about Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. I am embarrassed to admit that I did not know anything about either candidate, but this may have worked in my favor. Every time we discussed these two candidates, there was a clear bias in who my classmates believed was the better candidate. They appeared to be angry when they would discuss the Republican candidate and greatly questioned his character and integrity. I decided to do my own research rather than take my classmates’ words as facts. I was raised by two conservative parents, but I did not pay attention to this until my senior year of high school. I would come home and ask them questions about what we discussed in class and what they believed. I was shocked to find out how drastically different their views were compared to my classmates. They did not pressure me to believe what they had said but rather to come to my own conclusions through research. After reading a great amount about both candidates, I decided to vote differently than my classmates.

Fear of going against the narrative is what is stopping many who do believe differently, from voicing their opinion. This seems especially true for Republicans. After the 2016 election, it was shocking to see the behavior being displayed on social media, and this has only escalated since. Many are proud to attack those with differing opinions because they believe it is justified. This continues to silence many conservatives because they don’t want to be the target of “cancel culture”. Rather than listen to these hurtful comments, I encourage everyone to speak up and be heard. It can be extremely difficult to go against others’ beliefs, but no voice should be silenced because others decide to shout.