November 21, 2009
Filed under Opinion
How will we be defined by history?
It’s not a good sign when you start talking to your peers about Baghdad and someone responds, “Oh, I think I bought a shirt from them once.”
Living in a society characterized by Google, the text message, Twitter, and Facebook, teenagers no longer have the urge to go beyond what is directly around them, and explore the global community.
With technology constantly advancing, more and more information is open to the public. With constant updates about the events in every single community, state, and country, then, why is it that only 40 percent of people between 18-24 are able to point out Iraq on a map? Why can’t 75 percent point out Israel? Having that much knowledge available to anybody with access to a computer, it is preposterous that it’s not being taken advantage of.
Every day, 400 million searches are entered into Google. However, its most popular hits – World Wrestling Entertainment, Britney Spears and Nintendo Wii – do not reflect intellectual curiosity, but the absolute opposite. So, while technology is increasingly evolving, the younger generation’s interests revolve around video games, celebrities, and mass media, as opposed to global conflicts, developments, culture, or events.
I refuse to believe that teenagers got to this point of brain stagnation on our own.
The society around is constantly, and consistently, supporting our ignorance. Media and tabloids promote drama and gossip, but they also promote the search for such scandals, as opposed to the search of information and context.
An article about the latest Brangelina breakup is not only a horrific graffiti of literature, but it also sends out the idea that such information is both necessary and important. Moreover, as newspapers’ popularity sharply declines, our limited knowledge is distributed by unreliable sources that usually distort the “real” news. No matter how much we pretend, Blogspot is not going to be the next New York Times.
How we get our information is one thing, but what we do with it translates into another considerable issue. Intrigue, curiousity, and genuine desire to know what’s going on, has become a thing of the past. While I am sure, or at least hope, most teenagers know the U.S. is at war with Iraq, how many actually know why? How many of us actually care?
The fact is, we SHOULD care, but instead we sit around enjoying our absolute ignorance.
No matter how many adults claim that teenagers are not yet part of the “real world,” we are. The problem is we are giving up our role in society, so we can pretend to be in rock bands or imagine we’re war heroes. So it’s no surprise that adults tend to think of our generation as the pathetic generation we have almost become.
Instead of conforming to this role, it’s time teenagers actually take on what we deserve; a place in this society that is looked upon with deference and respect as opposed to pity and regret.
Dive into what surrounds you, ask as many questions as your teachers can take (and then some more), and realize that what’s going on around the world is a million times more fascinating than the new season of “The Real World.”