We are an Antisocial Generation

Have you ever noticed that the kindest and most social people nowadays tend to be elderly? I’ve often wondered why that is, so I have made countless observations of strangers coming in contact with each other over the last year. My conclusion? We are the unsocial generation. 

90% of the people who have approached me for a short, friendly conversation have been older than 50. I’ve also observed some older people try to approach other young people and they either just get stared at or ignored. Here’s the catch: you have to be very cautious of strangers, especially in the city. I totally understand the saying “creepy old man” because a lot of people that have the guts to approach others are creepy. But you can tell right off the bat who’s going to have negative intentions versus friendly intentions.

I never see young people talking to each other in public unless they’re already friends. I also never see younger people smile at others when you walk by them, and most actually don’t look at other people at all. I find most people have headphones on and aren’t aware of their surroundings. We’re dealing with a whole new wave of technology, accessible to everyone and used by everyone. 

There has been extensive research regarding our brains and dealing with addiction to technology. It’s so unnatural that our literal biological makeup can’t keep up with the technology we have at our fingertips. We have so much power and knowledge in our pockets, and we can’t psychologically keep up. This article describes this phenomena a little better than I can. 

This made me think even further- we aren’t even the generation that grew up with a screen in our face. Sure, we had phones or iPads or whatever from a young age, like 10 or so, but what about the most recent newborns? Those essential years of development are being consumed by watching videos and playing with technology kids don’t understand. How will this affect them in the future? For example, TikTok affects teens and young adults’ attention spans, so taking that one step further… what if we had that quick engagement and entertainment constantly in front of us since birth? The implications may make the situation even worse, creating yet another, even more antisocial generation. 

With a new age of VR, we pretty much don’t have to leave our house anymore, especially to socialize. Is this concerning to you? Everything all together makes me feel slightly hopeless for change, as everything is becoming virtual. I mean, even just take a look at our currency. 

All in all, my opinion is that young adults should take a few social pointers from elders. Kindness goes farther than you could imagine, and I genuinely feel that by ignoring those around you, you could be missing out on some super important influences and connections. Truly, the smallest conversation with a stranger could be life changing.

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