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I have watched The Breakfast Club around 4 times and the line, “why do you need a fake ID anyways”…“so I can vote”, is usually stuck in my head for a while. At first, I like it because it’s funny and a genius use of improv, but its deeper meaning, one that shows how desperate and eager teenagers are to put change into the world is really why I like it. In the wake of protests around the country, with people of all age groups participating in the fight for equality, it is important now more than ever that teenagers participate in social activism.
Forming an identity is a huge part of being a teenager, you decide what you don’t like, what you are passionate about and how annoying your parents can be. During these growing years, we voice our opinions and stand up for what we believe in, no matter the consequences. This attitude has been essential in a climate where many teenagers feel hopeless and isolated towards the future and whether change will ever occur. Many protests led by young Australians in recent months, including the black lives matter movement in Australia was to bring attention to the injustices that Indigenous Australians have suffered for far too long and actively call for police reform. Teenagers should be encouraged to express and stand with what the believe in to solidify their identity and sense of belonging, because let’s be real, teenagers are hyper-emotional beings that have lots of passion, and Greta Thunberg, amongst other young activists have led the way in how to get involved in the tough conversations about change, that traditionally, teenagers would be kept out of the conversation from.
Teenagers have adopted a never again attitude to create meaningful change that lasts. We don’t want to be the ones in history textbooks that future generations read and say “why didn’t they do more?” as those issues are still happening in the future. Teenagers today have spoken out against the Australian government with passion and frustration and have used their power to also educate others on issues that they may not be aware of. With our passion, it’s hard to win an argument against us.
Whilst some may argue that social media has negative connotations on teenage welfare and development. I think that as a group of young adults, we have grown up with and seen the power of social media, good and bad. Like it or not, social media is an influential tool to use in the fight for social justice. Petitions for change and videos demonstrating the harsh realities of issues that grasp Australia have circled social media in the past two months have been shared by teenagers all around Australia, just from a click of a button. It has been recorded that 80% of teenagers have said that they feel they can have an impact on justice issues using social media, only reiterating how teenagers should get involved online to better the future.
Just like Brian says in The Breakfast Club, teenagers don’t want fake ID’s to be rebellious, they want to vote for the desire of a better society. It’s this generation’s time to act, speak up and stand up as youth activism is important now more than ever. We are the change that high school students in the future will say “what a generation that was!”.
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