I saw the headline to this articleÂ and feel that we should discuss brainless television and the tabloid media. The article was written by a fifty year old who blames the number of distractions for voter apathy.
The answer, I fear, is theyâ€™re too busy being mesmerised by an ever-increasing plethora of high-tech distractions directed specifically at them. The changing nature of the youth-obsessed entertainment industry is in danger of inadvertently creating a race apart, an entire generation that instinctively prefers the cyber world to the real world.
Rather than blame the youth of today and technology for the situation that Brexit England is currently in I would look at where people got their anti-European rhetoric from. They got it from decades of anti-European articles in the tabloids. They got it from decades of Anti-European Tory rhetoric and they got it from radio and the sides of buses. Even the Guardian and the BBC are guilty of consistent anti-European rhetoric. Just look at the amount of airtime given to MLP rather than Macron.Â In a recent feature Katya Adler gave minutes to the far right and seconds to pro-europeans. The same is happening during the French election.
In times gone by, the 18-24s tended to feel alienated by mainstream entertainment that wasnâ€™t for them. The counter culture flourished because there wasnâ€™t enough for young people to do. The atmosphere was ripe for passionate anti-establishment politics. Now, with global corporations focussing all their efforts on capturing the lucrative youth demographic, thereâ€™s way too much for young people to do. The poor things barely have time to think.
I was both a teenager and a twenty something year old in the Internet age and I can say with certainty that the counter culture has not suffered as a consequence of new technology. I would point to youtubers, snapchatters and others as examples of this. I would point at Anonymous and other groups as well. I would point to the various critical mass events and more. Footage I took of a Silent Disco flash mob was used in an ARTE documentary about the walk man. Counter culture is alive and well. It’s just a matter of using the right medium.
It’s easy to blame the youth for apathy and it’s easy to say “A more likely scenario is that the vast majority of these allegedly pro-EU teens would not have made it to the polling booth” but maybe if the older generations had not been indoctrinated by years of Anti-European rhetoric they would not have voted the way they voted. The reason that young voters are pro-European is simple. They haven’t spent decades reading anti-European propaganda so they understand the benefits of Europe. Online culture contributes to this.