As the world becomes connected through social media, the generation of people ages 18 to 30 disconnect when it comes time to vote in an election, according to political speaker Lonnie Scott.
On Feb. 4, Entertainment Unlimited hosted Scott for his presentation “Election Day is Every Day: The Campaign for your Future Starts Now!”
Statistics show one in four Americans believe their vote for American Idol is just as important as their vote for president, said Scott.
“If you are voting for American Idol and the person that you don’t want to win, wins, you don’t have to buy their CD or listen to them or hear them ever again,” Scott said. “But in an election, if the person who doesn’t represent your values, if the person who you are not supporting wins because you didn’t participate in an election, then you are buying every bad piece of policy, every higher level rate, and every nonresponsive thing that they have until you do something about it.”
In the 2008 presidential election, 48 percent of people ages 18 to 30 voted. In 1972 the voting age was lowered to 18. That year 55.4 percent of this age group voted, but since then it has not surpassed 50 percent, according to Scott.
“It’s interesting how we all want our right to vote, yet barely any of us use our rights wisely and to our advantage,” Ferris pre-optometry sophomore Joselyn Dlouhy said.
The number one reason college students claim they don’t vote is because they are too busy.
“If you want to do something, you find a way; if you don’t care, you find an excuse,” Scott said.
Scott related social media to “slactivism,” the term for people who post a video online and think they did their job. Despite the meaning of slactivism, Scott commended students who partake in any sort of activism, even if it starts with slactivism.
Many students raised their hand when asked if they have ever been in a Harlem Shake video.
“If you have time to be in a Harlem Shake video, you have time to contact your legislature about something that’s important to you,” Scott said.
The majority of congress is “rich, old, white males” Scott said. He said this is because the majority of voters are held within older generations.
“Until we, as a collective whole, raise our voice on issues that matter to us, that’s what we’re going to keep getting in our representation,” Scott said.