For Our Future
One of the biggest concerns I have as a growing “adult” is what is happening to our younger generations. As someone who grew up with an extremely troubled and troubling adolescence, and yet still made it out half-normal but alive, I notice certain things in our current teenagers that I had trouble with myself; except nowadays, the issues are much more intense and interconnected to other parts of life and society.
As I learn more about myself and my destined place in the world, I feel myself wanting to be one of the protesters in front of Congress or the Department of Education because of the changes that need to be made as society changes at a more-than-rapid rate. I just read an article about how dating is changing and possibly no longer existing due to the new online dating apps that basically are a “order-a-human” rather than a meal type of technology. Yesterday I read an article about how the growing music festival scene is having more and more young people die from drug overdose every EVENT (not every year). A few days ago I watched a “Nature Valley” commercial about what our parents and grandparents did with their free time as kids growing up and while the grown adults spoke of fishing, camping, and playing in the park, the young children spoke of video games, texting, and watching television. One child even admitted that games “make him feel better and forget what is wrong.” All these interconnect in the way they are all a warning sign for what is to come.
With less human interaction and more technological dependence, our children are learning less about emotional health, self-control, delayed satisfaction, empathy, compassion, and self-awareness. I believe more teens and young adults are dying at festivals because they are less equipped to handle the growing pressures and demands of life today. The idea of numbing pain and stresses at a mind-blowing event with all sorts of mind-altering chemicals can actually sound appealing when the pain and stress is overwhelming. The idea of committing to a relationship has become more of a headache, rather than a social norm; apps like Tindr and OkCupid has taught the adolescent generation that judging one’s looks within half a second is completely acceptable and that only looking for a quick sexual encounter with only knowing the gist of their resumes (knowing what they do for a living or where they attend college) is more than enough for what they are trying to “accomplish”.
One of my goals as I continue to observe and learn about these phenomenons is to hopefully one day, change the curriculum for what children learn in school. I believe children need to learn the importance of emotional wellness and compassion. Empathy towards one another must be “installed” nowadays rather than instilled. More students need to learn the importance of finance and saving money (not counting numbers, but rather the importance of saving and investing, or how taxes work). The longer America waits to update their teaching materials, the more disinterested students will be dropping out school, hoping to be an overnight success or imitate the Kardashian life.
When I think of these things I am filled with self-doubt at my ability to change any of these things. Sometimes I feel like I barely have my own life together, yet I’m concerning myself with things that have nothing to do with my life specifically. However if there is anything I am good at, it is proving people wrong — including myself.