I was considering adding a category to CANDiLINKS titled, Genius, but pretty much everything in CANDiLINKS is sheer genius, so it felt kind of redundant and could have been confusing. But I did think it would be good to add a category about today’s young generation, and I’ve a very good reason for this…
One of the things that gives me the greatest hope when I look at my newsfeeds is witnessing the amount of young people who feel empowered enough to express their creativity online — singer songwriters especially, though certainly not exclusively. Through my partner, Niki, I have this great connection with her daughters, the wonderful and spectacular Lia and Freya, and through them and their teenage friends I get exposed to just how creatively today’s young people are expressing themselves through social media.
It is huge! It’s implications go beyond what we can imagine.
This one thing alone shows me that the future for the human race is stunning! I’m super serious.
So a category for Young, because what the Young are doing is being a role model for adults. They’re expressing themselves more and more honestly and creatively all the time. They watch each other, they share with each other, they role model for each other the joy and satisfaction of saying, “Hello, world, this is me. This is what I’m doing, thinking, feeling today. Here’s my art. What do you think?”
They are more worldly and mature than any young people before in recorded history. I see it; it’s clear to me. That each generation should be an improvement on the one before shouldn’t come to me as a surprise — that’s simply what evolution is, but the increase in the speed of our evolution, it seems to me, must be a direct result of the social media age. They can all see each other, all around the globe, and they inspire each other. It’s amazing and beautiful to me to behold.
Some members of the older generations are want to bemoan the amount of time young people spend glued to their phones and computers, connecting with somebody elsewhere, maybe even on the other side of the world, while not connecting with the actual people in the same room as themselves, and I get that. But have a care, bemoaners: when you see a young person texting to somebody, rather than talking to somebody who is physically present, just remember: you have no idea what the content of that text is, and just what it means to them. It is as possible for a text to be profound, beautiful and life enhancing as it is for a face to face conversation to be superficial and alienating. How many of us, when we were teenagers, longed for somebody to connect with who we could relate to, because we felt little or no common ground with the people actually around us?
Are there shadow sides to the social media age? For sure. But, as far as I can tell, those shadows are much easier to see and talk about than the social shadows of my youth. And that makes a massive difference. Each generation is an expansion on the previous, an upgrade. And that evolution is getting faster and faster. You only have to look at the difference in social attitudes represented in a TV programme of the 70’s and one of today to see just how much we are coming on.
Today’s young people blow my mind. Not only are they growing up way faster than my generation, but they are growing up broader than my generation, because they can find out what they want to find out immediately and independently. And they WILL overtake my generation, just as the following generation will overtake them. And that is epic to me.
Am I saying that the future is guaranteed to be rosy and bright for us because of all this? Well, actually, yeah, I am. Of course, it does kind of depend on the older generation managing to keep itself from killing us all. That’s certainly not a given. We obviously need to continue growing up ourselves. But at least the younger generations are here to help us.
Let me know what you think below…