Where Have All the Partyers Gone?
I haven’t read it, but there are some intriguing articles about it.
There is a lot of food for thought in this meticulous research, but one thing that stood out was the lament of both the researchers and readers:
- Teens are becoming intimate later; they’re waiting all the way until 11th grade!
- They don’t hang out at malls so much anymore!
- They party less and drink less!
- Teen homicide is down! (Okay, that wasn't said lamentingly, but it is true, baruch Hashem.)
And then there are the inevitable comparisons to teens of previous generations who hung out smoking and drinking at skating rinks in the Seventies and got their drivers license in the Eighties as soon as possible to go cruising and escape parental supervision in order to indulge their taavos.
(Interestingly, they don't yearn for the days when young adults married earlier and with better results, started families earlier, volunteered for military service in greater numbers, or went to work earlier, and so on.)
To be fair, the point of the research is to show that kids aren’t avoiding these indulgences out of rising morals but because of their attachment to their phones and social media.
And yes, I get the disturbing point that smartphones are so compelling, they even override the most compelling millennia-old taavos.
That’s pretty disturbing. So I definitely understand this point made by the researchers.
Furthermore, because teens are socializing less face-to-face, plus suffering from social media-induced depression and loneliness, author Jean Twenge observes:
"As teens have started spending less time together, they have become less likely to kill one another, and more likely to kill themselves."
Jean Twenge and her assistants are doing society a big service by getting this information out to everyone.
But you should see the people lamenting how “kids don’t hang out at the malls anymore,” and so on.
Again, this lamenting about the good ol’ days when teens immediately got a drivers license for the freedom it offered (mostly to engage in unsavory or meaningless behavior), when teens hung out at skating rinks, and engaged in meaningless physical relationships earlier, and so on…
What are they saying?
Put down your smartphones, kids, and then...do what, exactly?
May the Farce be with You!
Like I said, it’s not just the superficial stuff. I know that all these well-meaning people and groups are not that superficial.
But my point is that they’re proclaiming these meaningless things alongside the more serious and meaningful issues.
Why should someone get off her suicide-inducing social media in order to go to a party where she can drink until she vomits and get exploited by equally drunk boys?
Or to wander the mall in search of the latest meaningless trendy trinket or outfit?
American youth with Western values have nothing to stand for and nothing to live for.
(Actually, they DO, but many just don't realize it within their cultural value system.)
So what's going to happen?
The really eye-opening article mentioned above:
Has the Smartphone Destroyed a Generation?
Another post on this subject:
How Would You like to Take Your Poison: Scrambled or Sunnyside Up?
Standing for Nothing: UK