Pick a percentage!
Numbers in the news can tell us a lot about the world. Look at the following percentages about political attitudes in America:
- 45% of young Americans say that politics has a negative impact on their mental health
- 28% of young Americans believe the current government cares about young people like them
- 36% of young Americans believe that being involved in politics rarely achieves anything. This percentage has increased from previous years
So what do you make of these numbers?
- Which percentage surprises you most? Why?
- How might these percentages be different for different countries? For example, if you don’t live in the USA, how might they be different for your country?
- What might cause one of these percentages to go up or down? Why?
Don’t forget - if you spot that another Topical Talker has shared an idea without explaining it, you can ask them “why?” by replying directly to their comment!
To be honest I am surprised but I am not surprised by the fact that people think that being involved in politics achieves anything, let us use my country as an example, Nigeria, for so long Nigeria has battled with the problem of bad governance in politics most if not all Nigerians believe that participating in politics cannot achieve anything ans sadly I am part of that majority I mean as I grow all I do is what my country go from bad to worse government all the time, it is for this exact reason that I do not fancy politics because I believe nothing can be done, yes it is a wrong mindset but that us what I see.
Well, thank you for your candor, but let me give you a reason to change your point of view, that the politics in the country determine what the people in this country should do, because it determines the laws that must be implemented, but when the government is failing, this is really The worst thing is, but there is the worst, and that is that you can join this policy and change it for the better. Thus, you will have achieved justice for you and others and achieved a safe life for them (life is beautiful if we were able to make ourselves happy and and make others happy).
I see your point, however I think things are different in different countries. I am surprised that so many young Americans (36%) believe that being involved in politics rarely achieves anything. That's because we've been told that in western countries kids are taught about how political systems work and they discuss problems that concern their countries. I think it depends on our education. It seems like in Romania it's the same as Nigeria. We see corruption everywhere so we think our votes don't matter. But I disagree. Change has to come from somewhere. So it only comes with people. I think this percentage can change even in the USA when something dramatic happens or when there is a new leader that people really like or when the situation is really really bad. For example, my teacher told me that in England is very expensive to go to university and that a small party that managed to become part of government even though it was small was reduced to zero after it broke its promise about making university free. So young people actually had a say maybe both in helping that party and destroying it. But it took something dramatic for them to do that.
The percentage of people who believe that politics have a negative impact on their mental health are not wrong, in Nigeria, my country I could believe that 60% of people feel like it impacts their health negatively. In my country if you let the news on politics get to you, to be honest you would be stressed out, by the time you hear about the billions of Naira embezzled by government officials and you think about how the condition of the country is, it could actually get you depressed. The amount of money Nigeria owes the world bank is enough to give a heart attack just to find out they are borrowing more; you end up thinking of all the problems that you are trying to surpress and that is what affects your mental health.
What surprised me is the percentage of 36 percent of young people who believe that engaging in politics rarely achieves anything. Even though they deal with politics daily.
Young people at the age of 18-29 have political thinking, as we find them active in demonstrations and even on social networking sites, they talk about all rights, such as women's rights and children's rights, they talk about international laws and crises, they share their opinions, and they voteon such issues.The young group spreads the news and other young people receive it, and so the cycle continues until it reaches and covers vast areas, and thus they influence the world
The number or percentage that suprises me most is the 45%because I didn't expect many youths to have this mindset but the biggest percentage is the one the saying that politics has a negative impact on there mental health yet they are the most educated generation and in there classes they always talk about democracy and they know that politics is a portrait of democracy and they know the only way to have a harmonious living is by having or making correct divisions through politics. These percentagees are quite different from those in our country for example there are no youths that think politics has a negative effect on there mental health but the percentagees in our country are 90%are actibily involved in politics and 5% are contented with the current government and 5% think that politics has no yealds so I think that political mindsets of the youths in the USA is quite different to those of the youths in our country. What I think that can bring down or raise these numbers could be political based wars if an internal war begins in a country because of political reason can make these numbers greatly change and one sector can even go off or be erased, the other thing can be religious factors since many youths come from religious based home they attend religious gathering so if the religious leaders are on one of the sides in politics they can persuade the youths to join or leave politics so this can change these percentages.
well i get what you are saying but, what do you expect, in my country I feel all these percentages would be more, I mean, do you understand the severe tenures of bag government that Nigeria has been through, political apathy is common here, we have tried so much to change but it is so hard and frustrating, I mean these are part of the reasons why we youths do not want to participate, we have seen too much at such a young age, all the political coups and all. to be honest I feel scared I feel like someday I might make the same mistakes that my leaders are making after trying to make a difference I fear that I might never reach my goal.
Thank you for the passion you shared in this commment, accurate_wombat. What do you think your country needs in order to recover from the political instability? And what could be done to help young people in Nigeria, like you, to have the confidence to believe they could make a difference?
Some time back we also had such a situation in our country were the youths were in a fear of being imprisoned and at point killed they didn't want to make mistakes like their fore fathers and parents because they also wanted to fulfill their dreams and not to spendmost of there life in prison but in our last election there was a well known singer and a youth who was at first a drug addict but later transformed and also started transforming people this made him popular because people loved his songs but before this recent election but the other one the government started mistreating him and he also got the verge and the argony to participate in country's politics and starting also insipiring other youths and taught them through his songs so he led almost 90%of the youth to the recent election and this was the election were youths took lead in the election of the country so the youths in your country just need a fellow youth political figure that can mibilise them to change their atitude towards politics like our own ",Robaryt Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine"
The second percentage surprised me most because they believe in their current government that will not leave them they believe that their government will come after them and make them the most important person . Different countries that mean different percentages beacuase every one have his own banner in his government if it will you care about it or not . The thing that let this percentage get low or more is the government's effort with its people The more the government falls short with its people, the lower this percentage will be, but if it does everything it can for its people it will be more
What actually surprised me was that 36% of young Americans believe that being involved in politics rarely achieves nothing. Well, first of all politics actually achieves a lot of things in a country, I am thinking what is making these young Americans have such a thought for politics is either they are thinking about the bad aspect of it due to the fact that there are currently experiencing it, or the public opinion spreading around the country about the politics of the country is quite tense. As for me, I think that politics is actually a fun experience to become a leader and to achieves a lot because the main aim of involving in politics is to enforce a lot of knowledge-based ideas that will govern the country well, it is just all about leadership and how your follow citizens see you as a true leader in the country, only the determined, responsible and risk bearing kind of person would be accepted to be involved in politics in order to achieve greatness and be known for greatness too, after your reign as a political leader. All countries are different from others because they are different kind of people ruling it, but in times of foreign policy, we are the same. The reason why the percentages of countries in times of governing are different from others is because of the way the government of that country is governing her country, you cannot compare the policies of America for example to that of Nigeria because there are different ways the country is being governed, the problems that a country experience is different from other countries but can be executed through the help of other countries. For example, my country Nigeria is currently experiencing attacks from a terrorist group known as the BOKO HARAM, and there are ways the Nigerian government is trying to fix the problem, and if they decide to involve Israel to solve the problem for us, they are ways they will solve it differently from ours due to their experiences of battling terrorists' group and achieving success. The way the governments reacts to the current situation of its country determines either the percentage of problems in that country comes up or down, but when we the citizens decides to assist the government to eradicate such issues, then the economic percentage of the country will give an outstanding positive result.
Well done for making comparisons between countries, blithesome_imagination! How else could knowledge be shared across borders to support people?
Thank for the reply Katie.
Well there are actually many ways that knowledge can be shared across borders to support people through various means across the country. Several years back, I was taught FOREIGN POLICY as a topic in government and it was a very interesting topic, it was all about ways in which countries interact and respond politically, economically and socially with other country of the world. Countries interact politically so that other countries in the world can support themselves in times of any political participations for example, during elections. Countries interact economically by supporting other countries with their economic needs that will lead to economic growth for example, Helping countries in times of food trade, military support, financial support, business support and so on. Countries interact socially by being friendly to other country in order to promote unity, cooperation and peace. Knowledge can easily be shared across through foreign policy in order to know how to react when it comes in dealing with other countries of the world. Foreign policy helps countries to be together and to become one united nation.
The percentage that surprises me the most is the 36%, but I can actually relate to how they feel there is clear growing discontent with the youths in general and the politics of the world. There is a growing disdain for political discourse with young people, can politics even meet the challenges our nation is facing. We fail to understand that this is also due to the gender gap especially in the world. Why do so few women hold positions of political power in the United States? For the last few decades, researchers have provided evidence that when women run for office, regardless of the position they seek they are just as likely as men to win their races. There is a large gender gap in U.S. Women even tend to be less politically socialized than men because of the automatic belief that we have no interest in politics. I mean why won't youths feel like this, I mean think about it is qualified grown women cannot engage in politics because of whatever reason what interest or what hope do you want young unqualified youths to have. Even if women want to run are we encouraged to do so, no we are not. I mean the fact that youths cannot hold office is clearly implied from different parts in our lives. At various stages throughout our lives, we are presented with opportunities to run for office, Campaigns for student councils in elementary, middle, and high school, race for student government positions in college and even in all of these youths are not represented and women are even less represented than anyone. With all that is happening are we youths even meant to feel like we have a chance.
Yes, I actually do believe that politics have a negative impact on the health of youths. According to the Newport Institute: a full 40 percent of Americans identify politics as a significant source of stress in their lives, and about 5 percent have actually considered suicide in response to political developments. We are talking about suicide here I mean is it this severe. Research shows that young adults are among those most affected by political change, particularly young people who experience higher levels of anxiety and distress in general. A survey was taken by the Newport institute, and they found out that more than 25 percent felt depressed when their candidate lost an election.
1. 1 in 5 had lost sleep over politics.
2. 20 percent reported feeling fatigued because of political news.
3. 29 percent reported losing their temper over politics.
4. One quarter said they felt hateful toward those with opposing political views.
5. More than 20 percent have had political disagreements damage their friendships.
All of these and you are trying to tell me that politics does not affect youths mentally, we need less mental stress not more. Maybe these percentages could go down if the views of youths are considered.
28% of young Americans believe the current government cares about young people like them ,this surprises me honestly, for my country it is quit different. I feel here it is lower or even 0% . Most youths in my country are not in school because , school fees are expensive, so many of them are trying to get into public schools and there is strike so they all have to wait. To some point youths here blame all of this on the government.
The percentage that actually surprises me here is the 28% because I did not think people actually valued the work of the government. Believe it or not the US government is actually doing a good job. Even when the country suffered a pandemic, global supply chain disruptions and rising inflation, child poverty rates declined to the lowest on record. Among the public overall, majorities say the government does a very good or somewhat good job keeping the country safe from terrorism (72%), responding to natural disasters (62%), ensuring safe food and medicine (62%), strengthening the economy (54%) and maintaining infrastructure (53%) and these are actually good numbers. Americans are far more critical of how the government handles several other issues, including managing the immigration system (just 34% say it does a good job), helping people get out of poverty (36%) and effectively handling threats to public health (42%). So, believe it or not the government actually does a good job in helping the youths.
It's no secret that politics can make people miserable. National politics in the U.S. is basically watching highly paid elected officials fight overpower while they get little done for the people they represent and basically just insult each other and say who is winning between politicians and partisans on social media, and the alarming drift toward an authority empowered ran government, America's democracy feels rather hopeless sometimes. Yes, democracy is healthy but when it causes us to be stressed, tired and happens at the cost of our friendships and leads you into compulsive behaviors that we later regret, that doesn't seem like a particularly healthy thing to do or does it. The mashable.com says when faced with something we know makes us sick, say like a novel virus, a typical approach is to minimize exposure to that risk. But when young people specifically feel they must withdraw from politics to preserve their well-being, we stand to lose the clarity and conviction many of them bring to solving our most pressing problems.
One of the most important parts of making politics into a more positive force in young people's lives is to make us feel empowered in politics that means holding roles as voters and elected officials. It also means lawmakers listening to young people and integrating their feedback in decision-making so they can see that their actions have tangible political consequences, it is the fact that youths are not taken seriously that make politics stressful. I think it really falls on us and those in power to make sure that young people have the opportunities for political engagement and political empowerment in order to make their own mark on politics .
Personally, I am not surprised by any of the percentages above.
1. 45% of young Americans say that politics have a negative impact on their mental health. This figure is not surprising as many of the laws passed do not have young people's interests at heart. Roe v Wade for example does not consider the negative impacts that an unplanned pregnancy may have on a young person and the child. This law also does not consider the financial stress a young person may go through due to the unplanned pregnancy. This will inevitably cause negative impacts on one's mental health due to the worry and stress from these situations.
2. Following from before laws such as this one may not be passed with the visions of young people. Most of the judges in the supreme court are aged 50+ therefore may not consider the impacts their decisions may have on younger people. Having judges of this age will cause young people to feel unheard as they will not have anyone representing them in the court of justice. So, the figure of 28% of people believing that the government cares about them does not surprise me.
3. 36% of young people believe that being involved in politics does not achieve anything. I believe this figure may also link to the point above as having no representatives in higher politics may discourage many people in becoming politically driven. Having no say in laws that affect the younger population may also be discouraging as they cannot change the outcome therefore, they have not achieved anything. I believe many may also fear being overpowered by those above them and that they will not have a say therefore believing they will no achieve anything.
45% of young Americans say that politics has a negative impact on their mental health, and it actually does, obsessing over politics could be detrimental to one's health little research has been conducted on the direct links between happiness and one’s attention to politics. The indirect evidence, however, is not encouraging. For example, Dutch researchers in 2017 conducted a study on how hard news that tends to provide a political perspective affects well-being. They found that on average, well-being falls 6.1 percent for every additional television hard news program watched a week. They explained this by noting the dominance of negative stories on such programs, and the powerlessness viewers might feel in the face of all that bad news, I mean how many times have you seen certain things on the news that hurt you, but you could do absolutely nothing about it. This same research found that people who were “very interested in politics” were about 8 percentage points more likely to be “not very happy” about life than people who were “not very interested” in politics. In the Dutch research I was fascinated because they stated that '' our growing focus on politics is driving what social scientists call “political homophily,” which means assortative mating by political viewpoint. Scholars studying online dating profiles find that political views are comparable in importance to education levels in choosing one’s romantic partner. Presumably, this reflects a growing belief that people’s votes are a proxy for their character and morals. Right or wrong, this is a joy killer: If politics is so important as to preclude romantic love where it otherwise might have blossomed, happiness will fall as a result.'' This is the exact meaning of political stress Friendships and family ties are compromised by political disagreements as well. Polling data have shown that about one in six Americans stopped talking to a friend or family member because of politics. But what do we gain when we only complain and do not think of solutions. We could get involved instead of complaining, we could rationalize the time we spend in politics, so that the negative impact it has on our health could reduce.