Generation Z - Are we disconnected from Kindness?
Generation Z represents those who are born after the year 2000 A whole generation who have been born into a virtual world, a generation like non before. Truly connected - all - the - time.
The youth of today have their lives governed by a virtual power, their friendships, relationships, entertainment, news and shopping all online.
They spend more time online than generations before them and we are not yet able to fully understand or see what impact this lifestyle is having on our teenagers or societies as a whole.
What we do know however is that with all the high paced energy, entertainment and connectivity there comes a lot of pressure, anxiety and depression. We are seeing a generation of people who are clearly expressing themselves as being unhappy not only with themselves but with the situations around them.
Our teens live in a world that simply never turns off.
A world where everything they do and see makes them look a little closer at themselves with more uncertainty than ever before.
Everytime they switch on their phones they are greeted with friends who are at parties or appearing to lead an extravagant lifestyle - a lifestyle they are not included in and one which is simply impossible to recreate.
Everyone is very good at portraying how wonderful their world is - but behind the filters and screens things are nowhere nearly as fancy and entertaining - this gives such a confused message to our children.
The increased sense of unworthiness is having serious and lasting effects on our teenagers mental health.
People are losing touch with each other as they withdraw into their fantasy lives.
People are amounting their happiness to the number of likes and shares, it can seem like nothing is important unless it has been validated by the number of likes.
People no longer eat together regularly or talk together, families are disconnected. People are left with a strange reality of nothing in a world that has promised them everything.
Then there is the online world which promotes a side of people which is less seen in real life situations, it’s true that teenagers can notoriously be unkind, but nothing is quite like the hurtful comments so easily poured out across a virtual sea of unkind actions.
It is no wonder then, when you see the world as our teens do, a world of unattainable expectations, no real connections, failing family relationships and hurtful communications that depression, self harm, anxiety and low self esteem are on the rise.
So what can we do?
There may not be any one fits all, easy solution. It is impossible to remove the online world which has become so much part of our every day. And it has indeed brought about a lot of benefits. So simply taking away access to the internet isn’t a viable solution.
So what else can we do to help?
We believe kindness, simple good old fashioned kind deeds help restore real life connections and remind us who we are and how we want our world to be.
But are we not kind already?
Simple acts of kindness can so easily be forgotten, overlooked and undervalued in our switched on world, fueled by power and the need to be seen to be ‘the best’ Where everyone is ever focusing on themselves, the virtual world has opened up a need to be on top with no regard to who is hurt in the process. As our relationships with our friends and families decrease it is all too easy to overlook the hurt we cause.
That's why it is important to change things, if we can instill a true underlying thought of kindness in the simple everyday situations it may just help remind people that right here, right now in this real world things are ok.
A kind gesture can have untold repercussions that spread, one kind deed can create a knock on effect, really make someone one smile and change their view on the world.
Let's use the online world to build something positive, let's reconnect the real world and remind everyone of the things that are truly important.
Promote kindness, take time to choose kindness and then share it - share it far and wide so that the kindness can be caught, can become contagious.
We want it to spread through communities through generations.
Let's get kindness back to help even out the negatives, let’s together be the difference that we hope for, for ourselves, for our future.
I’m sharing… are you? #MyKindDeed
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