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Current Generations + Apathy





zanzou
I was just wondering what you guys think about this current generation's (ie youth generation, lets say 15-30 yrs old) social awareness/caring/apathy?

Do you think kids care? I personally think that a lot of people in my generation are veeery apathetic about the political and environmental world, and some of them can't be assed to do even small things like turn off the tap when they're not rinsing their hands.

My parents were part of the 60s movements, and as a whole our family is still pretty active, but I also really think that people don't seem to care, or fight for their rights as much as they used to.

Some issues have momentum, that's very true-- but I'm not convinced that people would march on their political capital if they were unhappy with a decision made.

:( Maybe I'm wrong, but that's the feeling I get from people my own age.
tony
zanzou wrote:
I was just wondering what you guys think about this current generation's (ie youth generation, lets say 15-30 yrs old) social awareness/caring/apathy?

Do you think kids care? I personally think that a lot of people in my generation are veeery apathetic about the political and environmental world, and some of them can't be assed to do even small things like turn off the tap when they're not rinsing their hands.

My parents were part of the 60s movements, and as a whole our family is still pretty active, but I also really think that people don't seem to care, or fight for their rights as much as they used to.

Some issues have momentum, that's very true-- but I'm not convinced that people would march on their political capital if they were unhappy with a decision made.

Sad Maybe I'm wrong, but that's the feeling I get from people my own age.



I would have to agree with you. It's really a shame at a time when real political change is needed imo. Among my friends, who are in the generation you mentioned, there is very little interest in change/activism/and the like.
truespeed
The current generation have very little to get angry about,as long as they have jobs and money in their pockets to go out and socialize,which they do,then why protest?

Also people, young or old aren't that interested in politics anymore,when i was young i could name pretty much every body in the cabinet and shadow cabinet,now apart from the leader and chancellor i doubt i could name any.

Is this our fault? Is it the medias fault,as they seem only to be interested in the latest celebrity couplings. Politics isn't sexy,politics doesn't sell newspapers,politics won't sell advertising space on TV.

This is the society we live in,for better or for worse.
tidruG
Lifestyles have changed a lot in the last couple of decades (or more). TV is now MORE than an entertainment device. It's God. (I'm only taking TV as an example). You can also think about PDAs and other gadgetry that improves the quality of life. Life is much easier to live now. Everything is within reach and everything is nice and shiny. A long time ago, people were a lot more active. There were friends outside of social networking websites and people held conferences and spoke to each other in a real coffee shop instead of a Yahoo chat room. They saw the world around them. That's one point.

The second point is that though a lot of kids around you don't seem to care, quite a few do. The world has become a lot more competitive now, and no one wants to get left behind by doing something that doesn't benefit them in some way. However, those who do want to better the world have better tools now and are more effective at doing it.

I just guess you're not looking at the right people.
PatTheGreat42
It's not so much apathy I think. I think that with the internet and whatnot these days, we can find the information we want so much more quickly. So whereas 20 years ago you had to like, read the newspaper and watch the news and whatnot to find out about a candidate, these days I can think about what matters to me (say, if a candidate is pro-life or pro-choice), and do a google search and figure it out in like, two seconds. So while I may care as much, but doing something about it just takes a helluva lot less effort these days, so it only looks like I'm apathetic.

Furthermore, everything is logged. Mostly during elections I don't do any of my research until the day before because golly gee I can look up a candidates entire campaign trail in like, an hour, so why spend all that time following a candidate for months and months when I can do it last minute?
Vladalf
Where I live, the youth is seen very bad in the eyes of older people and that starts to influence the youth, making them not fight anymore for their rights, things like that because they allready know they are seen bad. Well atleast that's my opinion.
-Vladalf
sondosia
I'm 17, and I don't think there's ever been a time in my life when I haven't CARED. Heck, I know adults who exhibit a lot more apathy than I ever have. I know it's a problem in society right now, but I don't understand why people always dump it on my generation - it's everywhere. My parents, for instance, don't vote, don't read or watch local news, and haven't ever cared who becomes President of the US as long as he/she is literate.

Sure, I'm not out there on the streets protesting the establishment. But why should I? My government isn't depriving minorities and women of their rights, it isn't killing students who protest, and it isn't forcing me to give up unreasonable sums of money. Like one of the previous posters said, times have changed. Just because today's youth aren't chaining themselves to trees and burning draft cards doesn't mean we do not care.
zanzou
This is just a general reply to all you guys who have answered: Thank you! <3

I think part of my post came out of the fact that I had been talking to my sister about things, and it just came to mind.

Some of the stuff that I, personally, think deserves much more protest than its getting (just a random list): the US government telling its people lies, in particular the President stretching/ignoring the truth, torture/treatment of prisoners (in particular at Guantanamo, including one boy who was taken in for a crime he did at 15, making him a child soldier), the Canadian government (my own) not allowing any government workers or representatives to talk to the press about anything other than the five issues they have decided are worthy of discussion... these are just off of the top of my head. I can hardly believe that some people don't even know about them happening.

As for how easy information is to get: I don't think that's a good thing. I know, when I'm away at school and have 24/7 internet, I get less news than I do when I'm at home, and listen to the radio with my mother at dinner. As a 20 year old, I just tend to FORGET to look for the news, even though I'm interested in it.

:< So while it's more available, I just feel like people don't LOOK for it.
tidruG
Quote:
As a 20 year old, I just tend to FORGET to look for the news, even though I'm interested in it.
Yeah, that's a more likely scenario. It's true we have too many distractions from the things we want to do. For example, when I switch on the computer, I think about checking certain sites that I need to, but I end up checking my mail first which takes me to other sites than the ones I intended going to.
Jaan
It's just a product of peace I think... if you look at non-north american culture it is much different.
I support partial apathy, it helps me to distance myself from emotions, people, etc.
Tumbleweed
Justin Sullivan wrote:

Well we live pretty well in the wake of the goldrush
Floating in comfort on waves of our apathy


Attitudes wont change untill this ship we sail without a captain begins to sink.
deanhills
I wonder whether all teens are apathetic? Perhaps a large number, but look at the Website below, which is by teens and it gives a total different impression of being hands-on on issues and thinking very intensely about all issues that affect them, far from apathetic:

http://www.youthrights.org/

You should particularly look at the Youthrights Website Forum and the discussions in it. Does not show much apathy Smile

http://forums.youthrights.org/
Libby
I think Guy Debord explains it in The Society of the Spectacle. I'm not going to try to explain his ideas because I'm not sure I totally understand them. Embarassed But this is the way I understand it. Our culture and society have built up this image and idea that it's impossible to make any sort of meaningful change in the world. But change is what is exciting to young people. Without the possibility of actually changing things, how exciting is activism? It isn't exciting. It's boring as ******.

At the same time, we (young people) KNOW the world is going downhill in a million different ways. We can see it, hear it, feel it. And yet it seems there's no way to fight it. We don't hear about peaceful protesters, and destructive ones (like in Seattle) are condemned as terrorists. Is it any wonder that so many of us follow the advice of our elders and just give up and give in?

My personal solution: Quit buying into it. Think critically all the time. Have real conversations with real people in real life. Have real friendships with people who think likewise and work together with them to put as many dents into this stupid constructed powerlessness as you can. Remember that direct action gets the goods. Smile
rightclickscott
I care very deeply about apathy.
erlendhg
I think that like every thing else in this world, it varies. You might have some points, but I believe that it would be wrong to categorize everyone the same.

On the other hand, I know what you allude to, and I find it frustrating when this is the case.
Drawingguy
Is this an apathetic generation, or was the previous generation simply ESPECIALLY active? I mean, throughout history, how often did the youth uprise, and become a significant element of social upheaval?

I think that with the internet, and the 'shrinking' of the world, this isn't a particular apathetic generation, but that in comparison to the previous one, it is.
psycosquirrel
Some are apathetic, some are not.

I am apathetic on issues such as abortion, since it is not worth arguing in either direction. Apathy in our generation has its roots in the stubbornness of our generation. There is no use arguing your opinion if the individual you are arguing with refuses to listen to logic or be open to change. People are so blindly set in their beliefs. It is pathetic.
deanhills
Libby wrote:
I think Guy Debord explains it in The Society of the Spectacle. I'm not going to try to explain his ideas because I'm not sure I totally understand them. Embarassed But this is the way I understand it. Our culture and society have built up this image and idea that it's impossible to make any sort of meaningful change in the world. But change is what is exciting to young people. Without the possibility of actually changing things, how exciting is activism? It isn't exciting. It's boring as ******.

At the same time, we (young people) KNOW the world is going downhill in a million different ways. We can see it, hear it, feel it. And yet it seems there's no way to fight it. We don't hear about peaceful protesters, and destructive ones (like in Seattle) are condemned as terrorists. Is it any wonder that so many of us follow the advice of our elders and just give up and give in?

My personal solution: Quit buying into it. Think critically all the time. Have real conversations with real people in real life. Have real friendships with people who think likewise and work together with them to put as many dents into this stupid constructed powerlessness as you can. Remember that direct action gets the goods. Smile


This is a very good posting, really good stuff. Not only for young people but for every one. As I think this powerlessness is applicable to almost every one these days. Powerful thinking Smile
catscratches
Being part of the younger generation myself (being 16) I can say that it, of course, differs a lot from person to person. But I'd say that we care at least a bit about politics and have our own opinions in some basic question (even though we might not have read into them very much).

Almost everybody care a bit about the environment and global warming and have opinions about it.

Btw, I live in Sweden.
aswapathy
... and people were just as apathetic then as they are now. The main difference was that during the Vietnam War kids were being killed. Kids were being drafted and then killed in Viet Nam; kids were protesting and then being killed on campus (Kent State); and kids were marching and then being killed in the south. And since kids generally didn't have to show up at a job from 9 to 5, they had time to be political and to make noise.
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