The Youth Are Starting To Change
In a digital age, teens are gradually losing the ability of connecting with their real world peers. What is the result of this? The internet has remained the most popular technology among teens. Today’s youth live in the past. From anywhere, you can reach out to anyone. Because of instantaneous connections at your fingertips, the organic interaction in everyday life is becoming more bland. Teenagers have lost the ability to wait for fulfillment and are now more reactive, with little sense of humanity. Constant communication via digital means is creating a disconnection between teens. It replaces face-toface interactions with their digital equivalent.
Teenagers now share their emotions online, so that anyone can see. The people who surround them have always helped children go through adolescent life changes. Some teens are going through difficult times in their personal lives, while others just want to be told that they’re worth something. In the hopes of a mature friend helping them in their maturation, teens now post their innermost feelings on social media. Hannah Smith is a 14 year old who found that her theory didn’t work out in practice. Hannah Smith found herself in a stressful and anxious time. So, she turned for help to Ask.fm. There, she shared her thoughts online and anonymous posters could respond. Chandra Johnson stated that “the responses were rapid succession.” Anonymous posters encouraged Smith to drink bleach and cut herself. One poster wrote, “Do all of us a favour and kill ourselves”. Hannah’s family then demanded the website to take action. Detectives from the police investigated and discovered shocking information about the source. Hannah made the comments. She “hoped that her friends will rally to her defence”. Hannah used the internet, even though she had the option of getting help from her close friends. She attacked herself on the web and isolated herself further. The internet makes it increasingly difficult for teenagers to maintain a close group of reliable friends who are interested in their well-being. It is causing a denial of the community.
Many teenagers no longer feel part of their local community because of the rapid integration of the Internet into their lives. Urban communities are one such community. Urban communities are full of people who are constantly sharing bits and pieces of humanity with each other. Teens stuck in a digital world are missing out on these snippets. They may have their heads down or be absorbed in a conversation they are not having. These people are creating dual environments. Paul Goldberger said, “When you talk on your phone while walking down the street, you aren’t sharing the communal life of the city”. Lillian Ross, in her autobiography “Here But Not Here”, uses this phrase. As teens choose their online life over their real-life environment, they reject something as ancient as community. It is human nature to live in a community. However, it takes attention to notice it. Yet, the cell phone’s direct connection to online communities is a problem for the younger community members. Teenagers are missing out on the chance to interact with someone they see when they’re out and about.
A morbid thought is that teens are not paying attention to their surroundings. What happens when they become adults and are no longer able to pay attention? Today’s teens are less like their predecessors. If teens never leave their home to connect with another person, they will not learn to speak and connect like their parents. “FACE-TO-FACE conversation unfolds slowly. It teaches patience. Talking with someone patiently is crucial because, “we learn how to communicate with ourselves by talking with others”. Face-to face conversation is an art that’s dying. Teens can now have multiple conversations at once. But it’s not as wonderful as you might think. Texting allows teens to communicate with others at any time and without thinking about the details of their conversation. The ability to talk with oneself is essential for self-reflection. The ability to talk with yourself is essential for self-reflection. Howard Rheingold raises a crucial question: “What sort of person will I become as a direct result of all this?” It is important that teens always keep this question in mind. The internet can be a great force for the good of the world. But it also has a negative impact on the youth who live around the world. It is making it difficult for the youth to find their peers and reach out in times of distress. The natural community to which they belong has also been eroded.
It is time for youths to pay more attention to their own future, the future of others and of the world. Many teens are ignoring the reality of the world in favor of the digital one. They do this despite the fact that it is right there. What happens when teens grow up to be adults and ignore their friends, the community, them, and even the world on a daily basis?