The children are the future. As a young adult slowly shaking off the last vestiges of my childhood, this phrase came to mind. Yet, from where I’m sitting, behind my skinny caramel macchiato, switching between Facebook and WordPress, the future of our generation looks bleak.
We were the first to be brought up with the internet and mobile gadgets being a part of our every day life (and probably the last generation who will ever know what a tape and VHS looks like). But has it made us lazy? We’re so used to everything being instant: a few keystrokes on Google and all of our questions are answered, no need to waste time learning anything. No more than 90 seconds needs to be spared to get us served at our local McDonalds… even sex is instant, whether in the form of cheap, easily accessible porn or cheap, easily accessible girls (thanks to low standards and little self-worth). You can get ordained as minister online, cheapening one of the most profound spiritual experiences to something as easy as preparing a cup of ramen noodles: three minutes on high in the microwave and, ta-da!, instant faith! Everything, and I mean everything, is instant.
My thoughts were on Tyler Climenti recently, the Rutgers freshman who committed suicide after a gay sexual encounter of his was streamed on the internet, as his name is being lent to a new piece of legislation in New Jersey against bullying. I would never wish what happened to him on my worst enemy. Figuring out your sexuality is a daunting and potentially traumatizing experience in the privacy of your own bedroom let alone being broadcasted to complete strangers. But his response to the provocation worries me beyond words. A growing solution amongst youths that fits right in with our expectations of instant everything: suicide, the quickest way out of any problem. Is the increasing suicide rate amongst teens and young people a function of our instant lifestyle, or is the rate of mental illness amongst us increasing…? Either way, we as a generation are damned and doomed if this trend continues…
What has all of this gotten us? Our generation’s lifespan is the first expected to decrease in modern history. We’re going to die younger than our parents because we’re less active, more obese, more hostile and violent towards our peers… And we can only blame the preceding generation so much before our actions really and truly become wholly our own.
Have you noticed the most recent dialogues floating around about the future that our generation spearheads usually ends in a cataclysm of biblical – to be precise: apocalyptic – proportions: the extinction of the human species. Whether our globe is rendered inhabitable by climate change, nuclear annihilation or divine judgment seems irrelevant: the end of the Age of Man is within reach in the future that has been handed to our generation. And the vast majority of us are too overly connected, over caffeinated and overly concerned with carnal matters to even care!
I don’t know what we’re being tested on, but I get the sinking feeling that our generation has already failed.
My advice: let’s collectively get our acts together… use social networks as forces of change, instead of a means of entertainment. Let’s start caring about our environment and ask questions like: ‘Is that empty can really being recycled appropriately?’ and instead of expecting the answer to pop up on Google, move our asses to where we need to go and find out! And while we’re on the subject of moving, we need to move more! Get our blood pumping, drive less (gets us brownie points on the environment issue as well) so that we don’t die a rich, overindulgent death in a pool of our own belly fats. And let’s take the time to cook our food instead of relying on fast food. Nothing worth having is easy to obtain, that is a fundamental truth that we learned when our parents tried to instill us with values of hard work, earning and merit. So we need to start prioritzing and spending our time concerned about the things that really matter and stop relying on quick fixes, because a quick fix only lasts for so long…
This is what we need to do… If not, you better make peace with whatever god you believe in, because our doom is inevitable.
Love me like you know the world is about to end baby, quickly.
~ L. Astounded