Posted on June 6, 2012


 I hear this from adults all the time, “your generation is a generation of slackers!” “All you guys have this cool nifty technology but no integrity, no diligence, no independence”. Being born with the millenials, I can still understand where these guys are coming from. To be honest, one of the many reasons I can fathom their comments is because I have instant access to the past with a quick Google search. This alone proves their point but at the same time it also weakens their argument simply because I remember the information I researched. That is not always the case, especially among some of my millennial peers.


It’s amazing how much has changed in one generation. The Baby Boomers went from going to the library and being able to hold a steady job without having to go to college; to the millenials having information at the tip of their fingers any time of the day and college being a necessary requirement for future success. Before, college wasn’t as important in job search as it is now; many jobs didn’t require a college degree or sometimes even a high school diploma. Nowadays, you can guarantee poverty if you’re a high school dropout. It may seem as if the rapid developments of our technology are making us smarter when in reality we are becoming lazy and vulnerable.


We are becoming a lot more vulnerable in the sense that we are following the trends that the media makes popular; buying things that are constantly replayed during commercial breaks over and over and over again. It is almost as if they are trying to brainwash us, having us think a certain a way and if there is any other way then it is considered a faux pas. I’m sure people are well aware of false advertising, but what some people don’t know is that these marketers are psychologist. Many of them are hired by companies specifically to scatter subliminal messages into advertisements that manipulate the human mind into making people purchase something. They can use emotions, moral values, sex appeal, and bandwagon, among other techniques just to make that sale.


They do everything in their power to make sure they think for us; having us believe that we’re stupid and worthless if we don’t own that product. It’s subtle, but it’s the way of the business world. Why do you think Microsoft and Apple hold such a strong monopoly among the electronics industry? They know how to market and plus, they have the technology to back up their claim. Can you believe that Microsoft spends over $500 million on advertising with Apple right behind spending nearly $250 million. Though their inventions may benefit us with research, organization and social networking, do they take away our sense of morality, thinking, and possibly our freedom?


Personally, I believe that a lot of these products create a clash among classes dividing the rich from the poor, the cool from the lame, and the winner from the loser. A standard is created for individuals to judge you on and if you don’t fit that standard, then you don’t fit with them. With that, it’s most likely apart of our nature to want high quality things to make us feel like we’re good enough, like we fit in, like we’re better than others. Since marketers know this, they use it to their advantage and create an even larger scale problem.


Going back to the root of the question, I still wonder; does my generation rely on technology? From all the facts I’ve gathered, my conclusion is yes. And it’s not just with the internet either; we rely on cell phones to communicate, television for entertainment, cars for transportation, the list goes on! Like I said, several of these technological advancements are ideal, but too much reliance on technology can possibly lead to a catastrophic future.


A hackneyed scenario is that the machines will become smarter than humans and eventually enslave our species to serve them instead of vice versa. I don’t think it’s that far-fetched, but there may be another more reasonable scenario that could lead to our demise. That is us simply not pursuing an education. As we lack the eagerness to learn and become less knowledgeable, then the ignorance of our society will cause a cycle that will spread to future generations. The stupider we get, the more bad decisions we will be inclined to make that could end up in chaos.


We may seem advanced in technology, but primitive in sensibility. All these new inventions pop up every other year, but we still have the same issues and dilemmas we’ve had for centuries.Americais a great example of declining sensibility. We get ourselves into wars that we don’t need to be in, spending billions of dollars of taxpayer money to support our military. I can get into several stupid things our government does, but then you’ll be reading a book instead of an article.


I think a lot of this decline in intelligence, independence, and sensibility may stem from the fact that there are less people going to college; or at least a lot less people are interested in attending. People have their reasons though. A lot of people can’t afford tuition or their grades don’t measure up to the college’s academic standards. Researchers have stated that 63.5% out of 3,000 people believe that college is a good financial investment. Now if you use those numbers and apply it to the entire American population, chances are it’s going to be about the same. But only a little more than half of the population believe college is a good thing; financially that is.


From what I’ve heard, college is an extremely good life investment. It is said that it makes us smarter and wiser. We graduate knowing more about the world, the kind of person we are, what we’re capable of, how to dissect someone’s characteristics, the list is endless. While college is one ofAmerica’s golden opportunities, many people don’t take advantage of it. College isn’t for everyone; but it should at least be more available to the people who do want to go.


Some, but not all of the people that don’t want to go are sometimes ignorant of knowledge and wisdom. They are self-absorbed, caring only about the trends of society and what is currently happening in their lives. Again, it all goes back to what’s embedded in our minds by the big corporations that always get their way. There has to be a connection between being materialistic and our desire to learn. I don’t know if it’s the companies and the media that made us less curious or the school system. In both the media and the flood of corporations, they hardly ever encourage people to learn. I never see it in commercials. I never see it on the news. I barely hear it in music. Maybe once in a while I’ll catch on to it in movies and TV. Most of time, education is looked over.


I think most people would agree (at least in urban inner cities and around the world) that the American school system failed our youth. We are behind a good amount of nations on the list of academic success. It’s embarrassing because we are the country with the most resources and opportunities; the greatest country in the world. For us to be in the top 20 nations of having the most educated citizens is beyond me. Things are being improved but will it make an impact?


After I graduate, it is said that many school districts, including Chicago Public Schools, will implement a longer school day and an improved curriculum. To be honest, I’ve seen the curriculum and it’s really just the same classes with different names; the same necessities worded to sound like they expect more from us for a good reason. Though some of these changes do benefit, there is more that needs to be done. The reason a lot of these kids don’t want to go to school is because it’s prison.


Sure, maybe they are just too immature to stay seated in a classroom where they are given a free education. That’s what these students need to know. They need to know how good they have it; how back in the day, kids used to work all day never learning how to read or write; never having enough time to hang out with their friends. Children around the world are oblivious to almost everything but knowing how to survive. We’re kind of the same way now except instead of “knowing how to survive” we know how to tweet, like a status, and Google. We think we know a lot, but our knowledge is incredibly limited compared to what’s out there to discover.


The school system needs to be improved. Rigorous courses need to be emphasized at the developmental age so that children will grow into learning things faster and easier and they will then have no problem with learning new things, even if it doesn’t interest them. Speaking of interest, schools also have to make themselves a little more interesting and less strict. If that means letting students go out for lunch or just simply letting them express themselves than to have them conform to these tedious, obnoxious rules; then maybe, just maybe school won’t be a prison.


For colleges around the world, do humanity a favor and lower your tuition! Make higher education available for everyone. Make grants and loans more accessible. I know there is no easy way to accomplish all of that, but we got to start somewhere. If colleges take a chance at lowering tuition now, more students will attend and most likely become economically successful. With that, the cash flow will stimulate the economy and thus better funding in schools will better educate the students.


 As for the greedy corporations that want everything in our pockets, we need to ignore them. There should be less advertising or at least better ethical advertising that doesn’t affect our decisions. Everything we see in commercials whether we believe it or not ultimately revolve around our lives and it turns us into mindless zombies. What we need to do is free our minds. Stop the manipulation. Let us evolve.

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