State Press: Pop culture is gateway to civic engagement

Friday, October 5, 2018

An editorial in Arizona State University's State Press noted that social media influencers such as celebrities and brands have taken the lead in increasing civic engagement for their audience of young people, and that is exactly what they should be doing. The integration of politics can be a valuable tactic that is reflective of both our shifting values as a society and the societal standards that are being upheld.

Having massive platforms can act as a gateway for more conversations from different viewpoints. Although brands and celebrities can get scrutinized about their decisions to align themselves with a specific cause, or for attempting to support civic engagement in general, this is exactly how to get students involved.

While getting phone notifications and interacting with apps has practically become second nature for most college students, now is the time to branch out to new voters through innovative social media campaigns, especially when only 50 percent of people ages 18-29 turned out to vote for the 2016 election.

According to an ASU Morrison Institute study, "Only 29 percent of all Millennials living in Arizona during the 2016 election voted, compared with 62 percent of Baby Boomers."

Pop culture overlapping with politics increases pressure on students to be aware and engaged in the political world, and due to previous voter turnout patterns, is exactly what they need.

READ: Opinion: Pop culture should include politics