Gen Z plays a role in realizing clean elections
By: Alexander Joshua Galen )*
Gen Z has an important role in holding elections, with idealism and the ability to access technology, it is hoped that Gen Z will be able to participate in creating clean elections.
June 14, 2022, the election stage has started and has been running for quite a long time. The legislative candidate has started posting pictures of himself on social media. Content uploads to support political parties began to grace social media homepages. It is true that the excitement of the election has not been felt in the community because the stages of the implementation that are in direct contact with the community have actually not been held.
The stages that usually attract attention are from the nomination and determination of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates as well as members of the legislature, the campaign stages, voting day, recapitulation of election results, to the appointment of the president, vice president and elected legislators.
Even though it hasn’t really been felt in the community and the campaign hasn’t taken place yet, in fact the democratic party and its intrigues have started to surface, especially in the digital world. This is because the candidates either directly or through their sympathizers have started to introduce, get closer and familiarize themselves with the community.
The candidate’s approach through internet media is currently becoming more massive considering the rapid development of technology in the past decade. Almost everyone now has a gadget and social media account, there is also someone who has more than one social media account.
The social media accounts aim to introduce themselves and convey the vision and mission of prospective candidates through internet media. This method is considered more effective by election participants and their sympathizers in order to socialize what programs will be implemented after being elected to office. This method can also reach more people and is easier than having to gather large numbers of people.
Until now the stages of the election can run properly, conducively and safely. However, Dr Panji Suminar revealed that this does not guarantee that in the future it will be implemented without ripples. There is still control because every time there is competition, friction and ratings win or lose. Conditions like that can be a triggering factor for disrupting efforts to hold elections that are safe, peaceful and can erode the various joys that should exist in a democratic party.
Therefore, there are things that need to be of great concern so that the 2024 elections can run according to their goals, among others, online media needs to be paid attention to. Especially now that online media can be found easily flowing and expanding, it has also become a place for many netizens to gather and do activities.
In the case of internet media, not only is information easily spread, but fake news or hoaxes and hate speech can also spread quickly. All such bad things can be a destroyer of democracy. So it is important that the Gen Z community also maintains that the media they access remains conducive and becomes one of the foundations for creating safe, peaceful and happy elections.
Gen Z currently occupies around 25-35 percent. Gen Z is also the largest population on social media. As the largest population in the online world, the Z gene pool has a major influence on determining the direction and flow of development. In fact, they are also able to create currents that can change policies.
An example that recently occurred is how Gen Z criticized infrastructure development in Lampung province and then the digital space was immediately filled with young people who were able to influence public opinion and policy. As a result, President Joko Widodo finally went directly to Lampung to ensure that in the future the area must be competent and must solve problems that exist in the region.
Apart from that, we can also see how the movement of a group of young people, numbering 5 people, was actually able to use the digital space of social media until finally they were able to mobilize thousands of people to clean up trash on the beach which earned the title as the number 2 dirtiest beach in the world.
Therefore, the younger generation needs to get literate about education in the digital space. Gen z can also be a buzzer for better elections. So that the content they create can cover content that smells of hate speech and other negative content so that it does not circulate on the internet network. The community can also access social media to get positive and “healthy” things for the sustainability of people’s lives in the future.
Of course, Gen Z’s role requires support from many parties, moreover they are still sterile from various political interventions, so if Gen Z feels they don’t get support, they can become someone who is apathetic towards politics and election organizers.
Gen Z with their critical thinking should be able to play a role in realizing clean and dignified elections.