Has our society become a nation of consumers and less creators?
The year is 2019 and many parts of the world are witnessing a growing number of mental illness cases amongst youngsters. We may view this as just another statistic that will come and go but there is enough for people to become worried. Let me explain.
Within my own extended family circle, I have seen teenagers becoming more and more despondent within the world they live in and this I partly blame to the consumerism of society today. Their goals are markedly different to say 10 or 20 years ago, where the consumption of information was not as well organized on the internet. You could pick and choose what your interests led to and find what you are looking for and just get on with your main life. However, with the advent of facebook and other social sites, your daily existence can be governed by the social sites since there is ‘intimate’ level of details you cans share with your social friends.
Have you ever sat around a close group of friends and had a drink or two with them? Depending on how the conversation meanders towards, the group as a whole can become enthralled and immersed in the conversation. Now take this meeting and multiply it by a hundred times and what you have is an engagement level with all of these groups to keep you at an all time high. This is how the fixation to facebook and other social sites have managed to corner the attention span of over 3 billion users around the world. Naturally many users will use their wisdom to filter out what and whom they choose to communicate with. What about the people who haven’t had the opportunity to learn from their mistakes or seek wisdom before allowing themselves to meander through these social platforms. Unfortunately, the very young people who grow up in this age of technology are the most likely to become influenced by this medium and as a result have some psychological problems.
The problem is that there is no guidance required from parents, they would tap into the multitude of friends and get the answers they are looking for and not always the right answers. After all, everyone wants to be different in this platform, some will do anything it takes to get them up the social scale and have plenty of likes. Unfortunately, there is no ‘manual’ on how to use facebook and children who are still immature are plunged into this social sphere and their minds are shaped by what they see and hear. Forget about the principled ethics of bringing up your child, they will turn to facebook for all their problems and answers.
As a parent we cannot stop them from using the social platforms but we can surely direct them. Fortunately, children as they grow up are curious to learn everything around them and to find meaning in the answers that they are looking for. It would be doing injustice to ignore those needs and we may blame this on our busy lives and not always finding the time. This could be the worst or the best decision you can possibly make in your life and something you will come to regret later. Remember, you are competing with a ‘powerhouse’ of thoughts and ideas that you cannot possibly expect to win. However, the affection and love you have over your child will supersede all of that and you do have the ability to ‘guide’ your child to higher plane of thoughts. This is with the entire aim of making your child into an adult that will ultimately make sensible decisions in life, has the coping skills to get along socially, emotionally with other people. Most of all having the desire to keep growing and have goals in life.
Please do not give up on your child. If you don’t address the problem early on, it will be an uphill battle that will be very difficult to change later on. You have brought the child into this world and it is your duty to see that they grow up to be strong healthy adults.
One of the ways you can guide your child is to make them creators. This is one of the most powerful tool that any parent can possess and lead and increase the child’s ability to do more than becoming consumers of the social space. When I say creating, I mean to keep that curious mind of theirs growing well into their teenage life. I found that this way of working can empower the individual so they have self-worth, high self-esteem and a future to look forward to. In essence many of the self-help books indirectly profess to this.
As an example of this to become more creative, I encourage youngsters to take up a hobby or a pastime that they will enjoy, for example, painting and drawing. This hobby alone which is usually lost as we enter adulthood has the ability to re-center the brain into what we collectively think of ourselves. It has the capacity to empower us as we are creating things from our imagination. This has the ability to ‘quieten’ the noise all around us and to provide a deep level of experience that brings us joy and happiness. We all know that ‘happiness’ is the most sought after ingredient that all mankind strives for. Why don’t you give it a try.
Here is the link to a drawing app that has helped me to ‘quieten’ the noise all around me and to help me understand more about myself and that is the perfect place to be for self-improvement.
Google Play Store - Paintology