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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The MIllennial Meltdown - Part 1


1.  This is not a blatant attack on the media.
2.  I only write as a way to ask questions and provoke thoughts.
3.  If something you read is my own opinion, I state that within the text.
4.  Enjoy your stay and leave a comment.

Human emotions hold a significant power upon us and we all allow submission because of them at one point or another.  We play games with each other.  Constantly, from the beginning of time our emotions as people have helped to control our decisions;  sometimes for good and sometimes dangerously.  People in face to face situations have been able to do this for our entire existence, then written communication became prominent and added to the distress and everything began growing as people became more and more connected to each other.  Think back to the past twenty years and how our methods of communication have changed, how rapidly we went from hand-writing letters taking weeks to be delivered to pushing a button on your phone, sending an e-mail across the globe within seconds.  This is scary to me, but a part of life I experience and accept every single day. 

 Information is everywhere and depending on your information sources, this can put our personal emotions on the line very easily.  What do I mean?  Take a look at the media, for example:  News outlets and other media try very hard to draw in their audience by engaging the public on an emotional level, first and foremost.  Sometimes the media even invents certain topics to stir the pot and keep people interested in what they have to say;  yes, I said "invents", as in entirely fabricated.  A local, Atlanta news outlet recently ran commercials for an entire week about a huge investigative story they were to broadcast concerning a brand new drug that was plaguing middle schools and killing students.  They built up a big following of curious and concerned viewers for days, and I later found out they were talking about  a form of Ecstasy called "Molly".  I am twenty-seven years old and I knew more than one kid in middle school who had done Molly back in the 1990's.  The news station's Facebook page quickly exploded with people commenting on the story saying the same exact thing I was thinking in my head and within a few hours, that link with all comments had been removed from their page.  When confronted with questions of confirmed child deaths or overdoses from the drug, the journalists kept their mouths shut and could not back up their sources.   The people who ran these stories knew exactly what they were doing when they presented this information and created days worth of commercials.  Sparking curiosity and pulling on the heart strings of the public to feel sorry for the children hopelessly addicted to this drug was their goal because it looked good for the company; in short terms, they drew an audience.  The public proved the story was not justified and their way of backing up the alleged validity was to act like they had never received the truth.  Most people who saw the story most likely still believe it and think half of the teenage population in Georgia is on a massive MDMA trip.  Great.

-Do you remember Kony 2012?  That video exploded and everyone believed it instantly because it played upon emotion.  Was the video true?  Yes, but the information was apparently dated.  The same viral video was played for a large group of the Ugandan public and they were disgusted by it.  The cause was great, but the information was not current enough to be accepted by even the same people the creator, Jack Russell set out to help.  He ended up having a mental breakdown shortly after.

-Have you heard about "Thigh Gaps?"  apparently this was another teenage epidemic according to recent news and social media.  When this topic first sprang up, I remember immediately checking out message boards and hashtags to find information because something about it did not seem right to me at the time.  What I found were more and more teenage girls who had no idea what a thigh gap was.  Now they do because someone fabricated an isolated incident and played the emotion card to make it newsworthy.  They even gave it a name.  The greatest part of this mess is how I did not bookmark my findings and there are so many websites covering how much of an issue this is that I can no longer find anything supporting my point.  Take that or leave it as you may.

-There is a big movement going on about bullying that has been gaining momentum for at least two years now.  Schools are changing their rules, so are public playgrounds, parents are in an uproar, and so are some teachers.  I want more.  I want sources before I buy into any of this (again, I am asking questions, not discrediting).  Is bullying a problem?  Absolutely, and it has always been a problem.  My research information just does not seem to match what I see on national news or on social media.  Click here to read an article on a study about school bullying and violence that shows it has been dropping across the board over the past decade for the majority of students in this country.  They cite their source and it is credible.  Where do I stand?  I have no idea;  I simply wanted to put it out there.  I was bullied as a child and I learned life lessons from it.  For me, that is where it stops. 

What do I mean by all of this?  Where the heck was I going?  This generation gets pulled in so many different directions because of the emotional plays we are fed on a daily basis.  Often times we believe the so called "facts" that are presented to us which sometimes live as lies eternally in one way or another, or sometimes make us fall into a heap of disappointment after investing mental and sometimes physical energy into a cause.  Going back fifty years, our grandparents did not have this emotional battle of people trying to convince us to think a certain way quite as heavily as we do now.  Back then, everyone trusted the journalism in the newspaper because the reporters valued their content from an informational standpoint more than one of fabrication.  News crews were not standing side by side, battling to be the first to tell the public about a water main break that affected one city block for three hours, which they then sent as an emergency notification to your smart phone.  The media had a greater sense of relevancy two generations ago and knew they had an obligation to be honest with the public.  

As a Millennial, I am wondering where this ends.  How much longer will it be before we all start to crack because the emotional toll we are put through on a daily basis compounds into something horrible?  We are all educated more than we ever have been and we are all connected to seemingly everything, even beyond the media.  This sort of stress and information overload is becoming more and more prominent. Where does it stop?  This is only a minor example scratching the surface...


Continued in Part II tomorrow...

Grace and Peace,
    -Drew




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1 comment:

  1. I don't ever believe the first report on anything I hear or read.

    ReplyDelete