I wasn’t alone however in my choice to not vote. Only 9% of eligible Gen Y voters decided to vote. Why was there such a low turn out compared to the 2008 Obama presidential election? I think it’s because politics have gotten ugly.
There is no bigger turn-off for Gen Yers than conflict. My generation might as well be called “Generation Labrador.” We are the idealistic, bleeding heart-ed, tail waggers of America’s history. We want nothing more than to text all of our 754 Facebook friends throughout the day. We love our parents, ride our bikes to our non profit jobs, eat organically, and buy handmade items off of Etsy and Ebay. We’re not exactly hippies, but we’re pretty close to it.
The angry political debates of 2010 don’t really matter to me. Why the ambivalence? Well, for one thing, I hate yelling. I also hate the combative nature those both parties have brought to the table.
Two years ago, the Obama administration promised us hope. It promised something new and shiny and bright and it used social media and snappy art to deliver that promise to my generation. As much as I still support Obama, he’s just not pulling his weight any more and that hope has lost its luster.
I don’t think we need politicians to change the world. I don’t want to vote because I don’t like the people I’m voting for. I would rather just do it myself. Gen Y is changing the world through its own individual actions. We’re promoting sustainability through non profits, buying from small mom and pop stores, wearing vintage clothing, biking to work, and supporting our local city co-ops. The Internet has opened a ton of doors for us that have led to philanthropy and one-man virtual businesses.
We don’t need to vote in order to change the world anymore. Facebook can just do it for us.