Although 2019 has just begun, it has already been an interesting year in the world of politics, media, and popular culture.
Over the past two years or so, anyone younger than the Baby Boomer generation has been referred to as either a millennial, a “snowflake,” or a combination of the two. However, for the sake of clarification, I ought to point out that not every young person is a millennial.
Millennials are generally defined as those born between 1980-1996, but those born between 1997 through early 2000s are what are known as Generation Z. It is also important to note that this generation, my generation, makes up about 25% of the United States population.
Having grown up in this period, we have always had access to pretty much any information we need— be it using Wikipedia for an essay (despite teachers urging against it), or relying on Facebook or Snapchat to remember a friend’s birthday. However, this came with a huge caveat: “Don’t believe everything you see on the internet.” Unfortunately, people appear to drift further and further from this principle. Case in point: the Covington Catholic debacle.
Herein lies the problem: while most people are doing their best to vet information they receive, many still continue to disregard the truth. I believe this can be attributed to the fact that “mass media” has become so ingrained into our culture. To make matters worse, many influencers and celebrities who have access to a large audience on social media sites that promote “fake news.”
Now I have no problem with those who want to exercise their First Amendment, but I do have an issue when those who are not educated on the matter try to mount their moral high horse and act like they know what they are saying, especially if endorsing (or attacking) candidates or a political idea. Although I have respect for Cardi B because she worked hard to get where she is now, hearing her try to speak out about the government shutdown was painful to watch. Sure she has become famous, but come on, with Tweets like this, does she really think people will take her seriously?
On the other hand, we can look to Kanye West, without a doubt, one of the most impactful musicians of this century, if not of all time. I won’t sit here and praise his musical genius and how scoring free tickets to one of his concert would be awesome (but if you have a plug, let’s talk).
I want to talk about Kanye because he is a huge influencer, but when he supports what is not considered the “norm” by the media and societal standards, his mental health is brought into question. Even though he has struggled with certain things in the past, it is not appropriate to use that as an argument against someone because he/she doesn’t fit the narrative.
Throughout my 19 years on Earth, not once have I heard Kanye go after a specific person on social media in the political arena. Why? He knows exactly what he was saying because he has matured and grasped a better understanding of how politics works since the George W. Bush incident.
As a young conservative, I think it is very important that public figures realize what kind of impact they can have on their fans and use it in a more constructive way (maybe discussing mental health or disabilities). While it may be too late for the Millennials, Gen Z should be able to explore their beliefs based on their own experience instead of being spoon-fed their thoughts through social media and large news outlets.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.