Our Youth Is Growing Up Fast But Are They Growing Up Right?

by Paul Hudson

I wish I could still be a kid. Things were so much simpler. Everything was planned out for me, food was prepared, laundry was done, and there was no rent or bills to pay. All I had to worry about was getting good grades and finding the time to watch TV. Now, however, things are different. With information literally available at tips of our fingers, the world infiltrates the naivety of our young ones at a much earlier age and much more aggressively.

The news, world events, and unfortunately, the lives of those in the celebrity spotlight all influence children much more significantly than ever before, and usually in a negative way. I would like to believe that the youths of the world are making progress by leaps and bounds, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

It sometimes seems to me like the children are becoming dumber, making dumber decisions and essentially demoting the human race.

Information is being shared across the world at alarmingly increasing rates. What was once a small world is now a world that can be held in the palm of your hand.

Growing up, people of Generation Y, used to mean reading books and other physical research in order to complete school reports, or projects. Schoolwork entailed getting up off of your butt and walking to the library to search through book after book for the information that you needed.

Nowadays, all we have to do is simply type a few words into a search engine, and more information than we could go through in a lifetime magically appears. With all of these advancements, one would think that our youths would take better advantage of the resources available to them and use it to further their knowledge and improve the world, as we know it.

That’s not to say that all youths are lacking in their efforts to develop their skills and better themselves. Some, of course, are doing just that. There are currently a handful of young innovators working on developing apps that can be downloaded on your phone and other devices. Other youths are using available resources to learn more about engineering, robotics, physics, mathematics, or even how to play an instrument.

Yet, I feel that the general population of the world is not using these advancements to their benefit. Instead of learning new trades, our youths are more concerned with soaking up information about what others are doing. They follow trends and read about all the behavioral foolishness that many public individuals are exploited for in the media.

Every time a public figure is accused of domestic abuse, every time some celebrity goes back to rehab, and every time a new sex tape is leaked, kids are on top of it all. These exploited figures are the people that children look up to - celebrities are their role models.

If someone you look up to is sent to jail for carrying weapons, the chances are likely that you will begin to think that living the life of your role model requires you to carry weapons, as well. Children listen to music and concentrate on the lyrics, they go to websites that highlight and glamorize the stupid mistakes that stars are making, and they take in all of this information.

Being older, we understand that the actions of some of these celebrities are wrong, but not all children see it that way. The unfortunate thing about our media is that, generally, only the bad news makes headlines.

I don’t believe all hope is lost for our young generations. I honestly think that adults are getting smarter, parents are getting smarter, and eventually children will get on track, too. The information age relatively remains in its infancy. As time goes on, the content itself will become better filtered and more reliable. I feel as if it is almost unfair to call out children as a whole, as a large portion of our youth is actually more socially and responsibly advanced than many adults. Yet, we still have too many children making poor decisions.

This, of course, cannot be entirely blamed on the information that the Internet provides, but rather on the guidance - or lack thereof - that these children are receiving from the adults closest to them. The world is an overwhelming place when you are young and naive. With more and more information on the web and in the media every day, children need even more guidance and mentorship than ever before.