The relationship between young people and politics

Karen Karnib
Mardi 18 janvier 2022

Simply put, politics is the process of how people living together make decisions. Politics is not only about making decisions but about solving problems, negotiating and cooperating between people and societies to build a better world. When talking about politics, we immediately think of adults; the older generation, which may be because they are wiser, more mature, and more experienced in life. Teenagers and children are typically excluded from any sort of political discussion or topic. We tend to think that they are not interested in politics, or that it is a topic they wouldn't understand or care about - but is this really the case?


When discussing politics with teenagers, the very first thought that comes to mind is of boring old men in black suits discussing conflicts or issues teenagers don't really understand on TV. But politics is much more than that, and we fail to explain it to them. Some may say that talking to them about it is not important, since they don't vote before the age of 18 or 21 - which depends on the country - or that teenagers wouldn't enjoy listening to a political speech or watching a video on a given topic, both of which are true: Most teenagers would rather learn TikTok dances or spend time watching YouTube videos than worry about the world's problems or listen to a politician speak. But why blame teenagers? 

The way politics is explained to teenagers is so wrong that it fails it educate them ; we have to explain to the younger generation that politics is not just about an old man talking, but about the community, the country, and the world you live in, that politics is about what you should do. Politics is about what you should and should not do, that it is a rule of any society and that politics can define your future, making it better or worse. If we can explain to them that politics concerns us all, regardless of age, then they would be interested. The younger generation lacks political education, despite it being essential for them. Nowadays, the younger generation is increasingly involved in what is going on in the world thanks to social media. It’s easier for them to learn about politics and develop an interest in it. The younger generation could come up with better ideas or decisions than their elders if given the opportunity – being younger does not mean they cannot think nor create, on the contrary, they may even be better at it than the older generation.


In short, getting a political education for the younger generation is key. The older generation cannot just pressure them by telling them that they are the future without giving them an insight into how decisions are made and what problems our world faces. While the relationship between youth and politics is improving, very few are interested in politics, which is why we need to give them a reason to get involved in politics in the first place.