So, what’s the latest from Brexit? If you haven’t been keeping up, some banks shares have been suspended, Richard Branson says The Virgin Group have lost one third of its value, leadership is in disarray, calls for a revote are happening and multiple protests have taken place.
It’s not as ‘end-of-the-world’ as it sounds, the view from London is very sunny. I even had an ice cream yesterday. Most of us are just getting on with it, but the one thing everybody our age is saying is “Why were older generations allowed to decide what happens in our future?”. Richard Branson himself has called for the voting age to be lowered (which I wholeheartedly agree with!) because throughout history young people have repeatedly been right, and “young people will be most affected by the decision.”
It’s the type of conversation you have with your friends at the bar, should there be an age limit on voting? I mean, logistically I have no idea how that would work. But it’s something when an entire generation feels misrepresented. Obviously, Brexit had its share of millennial supporters, too, so it’s not a case of wanting things to go our way, it’s just a conversation I’ve been hearing a lot at the moment. Apparently 75% of people aged 18-24 voted to remain.
Maybe it stems from the fact that we are annoyed with the world our parents and grandparents have carved out for us, or we’re sick of hearing what’s best for us. Maybe we are all just reigniting the moody teenager within and saying, “It’s not fa-a-a-air!” But with the US elections heating up every other week, you do have to wonder what the polls would look like if our generation was the only one turning up to vote. Probably radically different.
Age breakdown on Brexit polls tells underlying story. Older generation voted for a future the younger don’t want: pic.twitter.com/kMPECqQF6u
— Murtaza Hussain (@MazMHussain) June 24, 2016
The torch bearers & the angry crowd supporting them are not the voice of the future I feel sorry for millennials pic.twitter.com/w5HPKg4pnm
— Michelle Rodriguez (@MRodOfficial) June 26, 2016
@HometrackGlobal expects house prices to fall 3-5% in 2017-2018 in London. A #brexit silver lining for millennials ? pic.twitter.com/aVTwhTKDRs
— Amber Atherton (@AmberAtherton) June 26, 2016
Millennials have grown up in a largely imaginary digital world. This lack of reality breeds insecurity, opening the door for a Bernie…
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) June 25, 2016
#notmyvote because I’m 17 I’m not allowed to decide what I’m going to have to cope with in my future but 65+ year olds can for me
— lauren (@mismxted) June 24, 2016
As you can see from just some of the tweets after Brexit and referencing Trump and Bernie Sanders, this divide spans continents. I think it’s easy to be reductive and use the term ‘millennials’ (which I personally don’t love) to criticize a generation you have nothing in common with, while brands and businesses are so interested in targeting them because of their consumer trends. I have even had debates with my own family about this, because obviously we have different ways of looking at the world, and maybe wisdom does come with age.
I do think our generation is the most tolerant and the most open to question everything (with some exceptions of course!) we’re the generation that consumes media in a completely different way, we don’t read the newspaper and solemnly shake our head at the words printed, we get online and we spark debate, we learn, we improve.
So what do you think? Do you care about the young/old divide? Do you tend to agree with your elders? Do you want there to be an age limit on voting? If you can’t vote at 16 maybe you shouldn’t be able to vote at 76? Let us know.
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