A new leaf, oh the puns I can have with the name Digital Salad! It wasn’t intentional, I promise. I’m very glad that the new lead has gone down well so far though, please keep with me as I start onwards on the new chapter.
One new thing has been bugging me recently though, and that’s what I’m going to start this new leaf on – disenfranchisement.
The main definition of it is focused on the idea of giving up your right to vote – but I mean it in a wider sense.
I think fantastic flatmate CakeBoxFox sums it up pretty well with her recent blog post on losing our generation. Right now, I think a lot of people in our generation are feeling very disenfranchised with life the universe and everything; without wanting to sound too melodramatic.
I mean, look at politics, the original meaning of disenfranchisement.
I’ve recently had a leaflet through my door for the up-coming local and European elections in the UK. One of the local candidates lists the replacement of a bollard as one of his key successes which demonstrate his abilities for the role of councilor. He will either win or come second for that particular seat.
And they wonder why people don’t vote?
I’ve done more for the community than him replacing a bollard. I do the recycling every week of all the junk mail abandoned on the communal post boxes in our block of flats which is about as good for the community as his bollard.
Somehow that bollard has got on my nerves.
I grew up in a household where having an opinion wasn’t optional. We had opinions and we argued them endlessly. We never agreed and yet could always compromise. I loved those debates – as boring as it might sound to some!
Essentially though, I was brought up to be very politically aware and care very deeply about all sorts of issues even today.
My key political stances are best summed up as the 3 Es:
Education, Environment and Europe.
Education and the Environment mean everything to me; they’re all about the future at the end of the day. Healthcare comes in a very close 4th place, but I’m fine with that so long as it stays roughly as it is.
Europe’s probably the only one that’s a bit unexpected; and I don’t mean that in a UKIP “them damn Europeans” kind of way. Quite the opposite in fact, I mean that in a euro-file way. Basically “Europe” sums up my International Relations in a word. I want the UK to be a little more Franco-German.
Right now there isn’t a single political party that puts all three of those issues at the core of its beliefs, let alone is aligned with my opinions on them.
That sums up my political disenfranchisement. I want to vote for people, I hold lots of opinions very passionately, but nobody in politics bothers to give any of them much time other than to express the exact opposite of my beliefs.
But its more than that as well.
Disenfranchisement is about there being nobody out there like you, who thinks like you and shares things with you. Outside of the blogosphere there are very few people I interact with even close to my age group.
As CakeBoxFox says in her blog on our lost generation “where are you all?”.
Where are all the people my age in real life? I don’t even care if we share any interests, just seeing someone age 20-30 would be great. Its not something unique to my town either; towns, cities and countryside all suffer it. Quite honestly I think we’re all working long hours for what the more elderly would consider to be measly wages, but that is our existence these days and we have to make the most of it.
It makes me feel disenfranchised even more. I live in a real world where I am out of touch with those around me due to an age gap. All my generation comrades are busy, so busy that we are near invisible in the real world, and as a result we are largely ignored or looked down upon by others.
Its a somewhat lonely existence in the real world being a 20-something year old, for which blogging offers a blissful respite where I can meet and share with those like myself.
So here’s to the Newbie Blogger Initiative, which I found out about through the ever wonderful Murf Vs. The NBI is a great way of helping more people get in touch with the wonderful world of people out there. They may not be able to find them in the real world, like myself, but here we are amongst friends.
Digital Salad – lifeasadigitalsalad.wordpress.com