Working with teenagers is a very real way of getting an early peek into what the world will shortly look like in terms of social interaction. Inevitably, the teenagers of today will grow up into the adults of tomorrow and whereas some of their addictions will sooner or later tend to fade away, others will get stronger, changing the way people relate altogether.
On top of working with teenagers, having a teenager daughter gives me an extra view of how kids nowadays relate… but then again they were born and bred in a world of separate togetherness so it should come as no surprise that they simply enhance this trend that has been evolving for the last 20 to 30 years, and more so even, in the last 10 years.
Technology is here to stay. There is no doubt about that and about its obvious benefits to human development. The thing is it has as much of a strong all-round positive effect as it has a negative one. It could be said that it is balanced for being so strong both ways. What we don’t know yet is whether the negative will eventually surpass the positive or vice versa, or, maybe stay balanced in its extremes.
One way or another, what I have come to notice more and more is that this issue of separate togetherness is more and more the order of the day. People are together without being so. The sense of sharing, of co-responsibility, of cohesion, of wholeheartedly being with others when accompanied and being alone when not accompanied… all of this is fading and creating a confused daze of insensitivity as well as unprecedented selfishness.
This generation of kids whose parents spoil them with excessive material compensation for their lack of presence in their lives, where kids are many times not educated for lack of time to be an educator, where kids do not know what a “no” means and where they are the centre of attention not only as extensions of their parents' unfulfilled dreams, but also as examples of competitive skill and achievement at all costs… this generation is becoming emotionally mute, just like their parents before them. Technologies are serving the purpose of a maid or caretaker, also functioning as pleasure fulfillers and constant entertainers, drawing youngsters’ attention further and further from their here and now, into virtual worlds of insensitive imagery where violence has become completely normal and killing is just a game.
People sit next to each other but hardly ever with each other, they interact but hardly ever offer their full attention, they look but hardly ever see and this seems to me more and more like a new generation of robots rather than humans.
I wonder whether the robots’ minds or the human hearts will prevail, in the long run…
Fortunately I know nothing really matters in the world of matter, though it might be of extreme importance to each one’s conscious evolution beyond matter. So I simply observe, feel, sometimes it saddens me, but mostly I know all is well in each one’s creation, whatever it may lead to.
What really matters is who I choose to be in the midst of all of this separate togetherness and I sure enough choose to be whole in my togetherness both inside and out, knowing that though it serves all in many invisible and visible ways, mostly it serves my reality and my choice of seeing and being beyond the limitations of a world built on illusion.