Many say that teens today, a part of Generation Z, are apathetic, unaware of what’s going on in the bigger picture in the world around them or are flat out just lazy. We asked these Gen Z teens to talk about whether they think they and their peers live up to the rep—or if they’re really just getting a bad rap.
LEAH SAYS: It’s not all our fault
My generation is, in some ways, apathetic—but it’s not entirely our fault. With such an increase in technology and media, it feels like we’re always watching a screen or looking something up on Wikipedia, and it’s easy to know a little about many things and not be passionate about any of them. We suffer from information overload, and because everything is just a search away, we’re less primed for things that require actual research, work or dedication. Not that we are any less capable of doing them—we’re just a little more distracted. As for being up to date on news and world events, it’s not that we’re ignorant; it’s the flaws in the news system itself.
Because of the abundance of sources and sites on the Internet, it’s easy to get mixed up in unimportant news (read: Kim Kardashian’s wedding) that distracts us from the big stuff. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have made sharing news a lot easier—just a cut and paste away—but it all depends on the worth of the news being shared.
KEVIN SAYS: We’re Gen Z(ero Knowledge)
Ever heard of Al-Jazeera, or the Uyghur conflict in China? Probably not. But I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about Angelina Jolie’s dress at the Academy Awards or how person “X” broke up with person “Y” in your school. I’m also willing to bet you heard about those events from your phone or the Internet. Most teens, with their technological prowess, use their powers for the forces of evil instead of good.
I’m not condemning being socially aware, nor am I saying every teen is uneducated about current events, but teens are often caught up in the instant news bubble, as opposed to the real world and long-term events that have a major impact on everyone’s lives.
Generation Z is so caught up with the information overload, they tend to focus on the meaningless instead of the meaningful. Teens have the complete capacity to learn about the world and how they can help, especially with the wealth of information at their fingertips.
IEMAAN SAYS: We’re not exactly world leaders, but we don’t have the time to be apathetic
We’re no child laborers, civil rights activists, or war-torn refugees—but we are certainly not apathetic. In this day and age, colleges are more selective than ever. We have to work extra hard to meet and beat the standard, an effort that often demands sleepless nights and long waking hours. We’re expected to make a difference in our community, be the best at everything, have a talent or skill that is unique to us, and make straight As all at the same time!
Balancing family difficulties with schoolwork is a miraculous feat in itself. To some, the fact that a calculator can do our math problems and a computer can check our grammar is appalling. They consider Gen Z to be on the brink of lethargy due to technological advancements. However, it’s imperative to consider the fact that greater technology demands superior output. If spell-check is available to us, we’re expected to have flawless grammar and syntax. If a calculator is available to do basic computational problems, we’re expected to solve more complex problems in a shorter amount of time. Technology has ceased to become a substitute for hard work; rather, it’s a medium that has become an integrated part of our daily routine. Leading us back to the original dilemma: Is our generation apathetic? Dear friends, with all the problems in the world, we don’t have the time to be apathetic.
MATT SAYS: We may appear apathetic, but…
Is my generation apathetic? I can definitely understand where those who say this may be coming from; most of my friends have very little knowledge of the 2012 presidential race, and even fewer know in any detail what is happening in the Middle East or the implications of the 2008 financial crisis and how it affects their lives.
I believe that the lack of knowledge and interest of our generation in politics and world happenings is a result of my parents’ generation—the ones who are making the decisions today. Our education system is getting increasingly more demanding, and our society increasingly more competitive.
Another reason for these accusations: the Internet has replaced the traditional platform for any type of activism. Its not that our generation is completely apathetic, it’s that we share our discontent and opinions through a digital medium that is not understood or cared about by older generations. It creates an illusion that we don’t care, but we really do. Just take a look at the protests over SOPA and PIPA. We were able to effect change—all without even taking to the streets.
DANIAJA SAYS: Will social media drive us back to caring more about the world around us?
Teens today are always on the move. We go to school, we go to after school activities, we go out with friends—we’re always going! There’s never any time for us to slow down and notice what is going on around us in the world; because of that, teens don’t have the slightest clue about current international events or even issues going on in their own neighborhood sometimes. It’s not that teens don’t have access to news;it’s just that teens don’t care enough to make themselves aware. Between Facebook and Twitter, teens preoccupy themselves more with the latest trending topic and how many likes they can get on their last status. But maybe it’s not too late to change that. With the recent rise of teen bullying and suicide, Generation Z has come to realize the importance of knowing what’s going on in the world. Teens now are becoming more active about making themselves aware of the issues most prominent in our society. Maybe this recent movement will be a push in the right direction.
March 03, 2011
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May 07, 2012
March 01, 2012
June 07, 2012