If “today’s young” are indeed more optimistic about the future of the U.S. relative to older generations of Americans, how can we explain this sentiment in the midst of one of America’s harshest economic periods?
The answer may just be in technology and the control that so many among todays young feel they can exert over their own lives and even the lives of others, even those in different countries.
Today’s technology has not only brought millions of Americans closer together, today’s technology has also bequeathed a world to today’s young that is customizable and far reaching.
Take smart phones as an example. Most smart phones come with customizable software that allow each user to include what is most important to them like celebrity news, political updates, movie reviews, and much else.
Each smart phone also comes with social media “apps” that connect each smart phone to a large world of ever increasing social media networks. If there is an important vote coming up on, say an environmental regulation, I can send an instant message to hundreds of my friends, asking them to contact their legislators in support of such and such an environmental regulation. As a result, the pressure exerted by this one message (that can mushroom into thousands, if not millions, of additional messages) could mean the difference between its passage or its failure. Imagine the sense of power felt by some of these folks when their issue wins!
Technology has literally made most of the world accessible to millions in the U.S., an unmatched phenomenon in human history, and so one shouldn’t be surprised if our country’s youth continue to view the U.S.’s future with optimism.
And for folks like, Mitt Romney, who symbolize a return to a Gilded Age devoid of the radical accessibility that we experience in our own time, it also makes sense that the country’s youth would turn to President Obama, a man who symbolizes optimism, the future, and a new and expanded era of openness on many different fronts, including technology.
Technology has many pitfalls, but to the young of America, technology is the automobile of the 1950s, only this form of technology can travel across continents and change minds in a single bound!