Ever since 7th grade, I’ve been interested in learning about how politics worked. It started with taking US Government in 7th grade. I loved listening to the lectures and reading my textbook. Even so, I always ran into one major problem – class doesn’t equal real life. In real life, there are a ton of grays and a lot of dry text to read through. Not to mention, all the sound bites floating around. Every time I thought I had my head wrapped around an issue, I would realize that I knew nothing.
That and just life, in general, kept me from getting involved. I know a lot of people in my life that don’t bother with politics because it’s too “depressing” and “time-consuming.” I’m still struggling with that, but here are 2 actions you can take if you are struggling with it too.
1. Within reason, keep politics on your mind
When you’re constantly exposed to people who talk about politics in a relatively civil matter, you start to develop options of your own, discover bias, and entertain different viewpoints. Also, it keeps politics on your mind. For me, this website and being a member of the Student Sustainability Council at my college gets me connected to others that care about politics. Whether it’s reading about how Russia’s latest actions resemble what they did in the past with China or finding out what bills I should be keeping an eye on, I know that I will leave with a richer perspective.
Now, time for the within reason part. We all know that information overload is too real. There is international politics, local politics, and the list keeps going on. What’s helped me is focusing on local politics and issues I care about. Eventually, I want to expand my horizon, but I would rather take it slow than burnout. Since I’m only tackling a few issues, staying on top of politics become less time-consuming.
2. Do a little fact-checking
These 2 actions aren’t time-consuming and keep political overload very low. They have become a part of my daily routine, and I have become better for it!