1 a : the time of life when one is young; especially : the period between childhood and maturity b : the early period of existence, growth, or development.
What do you think of when you hear that word?
*freedom * school *friends * middle school* sports*
*growth* parents *curfews* high school*homework*
It’s actually a complicated question to answer. We have two views of youth. The youth we experienced when we were growing up and how we see youth as adults. We have all heard the timeless sayings; “Youth is wasted on the young” and “Ignorance is bliss”. That’s because as adults, we know we had it so much better when we were young and did not have to deal with intense stress on a daily basis. We did not have to face the relentless pressures from the outside world.
The youth of today really can’t say the dmx
Do you ever stop and think what it is like to be a teenager in today’s world? I mean actually put yourself into their shoes. They face a lot of the same decisions we did, dating, alcohol, drugs, tattoos, piercings. We were able to make these decisions in a much smaller arena than they do. Think about it, you wake up with a nasty pimple do your best to cover it and head to school. Before lunch the entire school is laughing over the snap that the jerk in homeroom sent out. They exist in a completely different world than we did.
I understand that every generation can say this to a point. Thankfully, as a society, we evolve and as a result the world we live in changes. However, the changes from 1998 to today have not just changed the way we travel or how we entertain. They have completely changed how we, as human beings, exist.
I don’t know about you but when I was young we had one family car, which meant we spent a lot of time driving together. When I was young we had a house phone and if you wanted to talk to anyone you most likely had to do it within earshot of your parents. When I was young there was one television in our home. As I got a little older things did change, there was more than one car, more than one phone, and more than one tv. Other than that, things pretty much stayed status quo.
When we were young there was no internet.
This change alone has redefined everything.
The way we record our thoughts has changed three times over in the past 20 years. We no longer spend countless hours learning cursive handwriting. (THANK GOD! I mean whose idea was that anyway!?) We no longer use typewriters or word processors or microfiche or encyclopedias. Hell, we no longer use computer labs nor do we need to go to the library to complete assignments. Think about that for a minute. Past generations had to work much harder to acquire information. We had to go out and find it, write it down, and then use it for our given assignment. A little different than “siri, what was the major cause of World War 1?”
Now let’s dig a little deeper. What are they missing out on by having this information so readily available to them? What are they gaining? It is obvious they have unlimited access to information. They clearly have more time on their hands because of the technology advancements. This leads to more activities, programs, and lessons, and more pressure too.
Sadly, they are missing out on the experiences we had during the acquisition and research stages of learning. Imagine how much we learned during those times! And how about at home? With all of the “extra” extra curricular activities, family dinner is in danger of becoming a special occasion. NEVERMIND the Sunday dinners with extended family!! This actually has moved from a weekly event to a holiday tradition. Well, usually a day before or after the actual holiday but you get the gist.
The way they communicate and socialize is foreign to the youth of our time. Every “note” passed in English class is sent via a smartphone and therefore has an eternal footprint for the world to see. Their impulsive minds are not prepared to deal with the consequences of their tweets, snaps, posts, or swipes. This all happened so fast most parents are completely overwhelmed with their lack of knowledge.
So how can we define youth today? Honestly, I think of it as entering a war zone. We have to teach our kids to play defense and avoid the social landmines that litter every corner they turn. We need to provide them with the protective armor of private accounts and multi-level passwords. We need to arm them with the weapons to ward off people befriending them through games or social media sites, you know, today’s stranger danger. They still muddle through the same awkward and often dangerous situations we did with parties and dating and all that comes along with that. Sadly, now, those first intimate moments or their experimenting can be (and often is) recorded and shared with the world!
If you ask me, I’d take our version of youth over theirs any day, twice on Sunday!!!