SOPA brings political awareness to teens

Let’s be honest: Teenagers don’t care about politics because tax cuts, social security, and immigration laws don’t affect their lives yet. An act like SOPA, however, sent teens into a frenzy. “How will I copy Wikipedia to do my APUSH homework?” “How will I download music?” and “How will I finish my science research?” name just a few concerns.

Teens feel the effects of SOPA could disrupt these personal liberties and freedom, and thus have united against this common danger. Inspired youth feel censorship and restriction of the Internet are abuses of the government’s power over American people and, in response, have begun an impressive fight against the law.

SOPA’s news coverage exploded on Jan. 18 when countless Internet sites enacted a blackout to boycott the bill, bringing the potential law to the country’s attention. After realizing what could be ridiculously restricting to Internet use, youth acted out by tweeting, contacting politicians and “signing” the online Google petition against it.

Not only has SOPA inspired many to take action against it, but it opened teenagers’ eyes to governmental policies and affairs—a rare occurrence. In reality, all laws passing through Congress should be observed and challenged by the people they could affect, but SOPA is at least a start.

So why do teens all of a sudden care so much about a potential law? The reason lies in our generation’s deep reliance (and as some would say, obsession) with the Internet and all it has to offer us. The youth simply won’t stand for Congress taking that away. We would hope that the people of United States maintain this desire and continuously protest laws that threaten what it means to live in this country.

Now, signing a petition on Google doesn’t make you a hero; much more will be needed to make a difference. Look at the facts, investigate the implications, form an opinion, and then stand up for your desired rights. And furthermore, don’t mindlessly skip over political articles on Yahoo! simply because they aren’t exciting; they could matter, and you might not realize until it’s too late.