Sunday, September 16, 2012

Generation Clueless

Clueless: The Average College Student Is Oblivious To World Affairs and Politics Andy Wolf Of all the things people should be cognizant of, World Events and Politics should be at the top of the list, and for obvious reason. Tensions in one country raises the price of fuel in another. Economic success and strain on one hemisphere of the globe determine what is a priority on the other hemisphere. Even something so simple as a Youtube video or a cartoon can incite violent reaction, costing lives in the process. Everything around us is in a perpetual state of motion, yet the average American twenty-something is absolutely deaf, blind (and by that logic, dumb) to the ever-changing environment we live in. In a recent survey conducted at APSU*, approximately 100 students of various genders and ethnicities were interviewed and asked who their State Representative and Senators were. Less than 5% knew the answer. Upon further questioning, 25% could name the three branches of Government in the United States. Less than 5% could locate Afghanistan (down to the region) on a blank map. Finally, the students were asked what Selective Service was. Ten percent knew what it was. However, 40% knew who the current host line up was on The X-Factor, 74% could name the 3 main characters from the Twilight books/film and a whopping 93% could recognize a photo of Snooki from Jersey Shore. Folks, we are in the midst of troubled times. The economy is suffering, we’re still at war, and the global stage is becoming increasingly unstable. Yet our nation’s greatest asset- it’s youth- are frighteningly unaware of the happenings in a world that they will lead, sooner than later. We are so easily swayed by rhetoric without checking the facts for ourselves, we openly accept things at face value. This generation doesn’t really have to think for itself, it would much rather operate as a social hivemind. Unfortunately, as it is with computers the GIGO rule applies: Garbage In, Garbage Out. Not unlike computers, this generation unquestioningly processes the most nonsensical of input data ("garbage in") and produces nonsensical output ("garbage out") as a result. We are not computers. We are sentient, free-thinking human beings. There are no parameters, no directives and no hivemind. If you want to sit on the sidelines and blissfully ignore what is going on around you, then you have no grounds to complain when the fantasy world you have created for yourself comes crashing down. In the 21st century, ignorance and misinformation is control. Feelings reign supreme over facts, and the complex task of picking future world leaders has been reduced to catchy phrases and who can put the most propaganda on youtube or dazzle you with celebrity endorsements. People complain about the way their country is going, yet they won’t go out and vote. They know more about the inner workings of Reality TV than the inner workings of their own Government and society. They are poor, yet they opt to stay home instead of look for any sort of work. They shout “yolo”, yet spend their entire mediocre lives on a Twitter or Facebook account. They “follow”, but they do not lead.They complain about the problems that plague their society, yet they do nothing. They are the problem. The most dangerous weapon against society is a combination of ignorance and apathy. During my research, I was jokingly asked if I was collecting data for some sort of coming “Zombie Apocalypse”. I smiled, but then shook my head in dismay as I looked at my results. “No, but pretty damn close.”

1 comment:

  1. Check out this picture.