Civilizations across the world have continued to evolve in a way that reflects their daily experiences with the needs and requirements of modern living. Worldviews, attitudes, perceptions and value systems have been greatly influenced by the occurrences of the modern world, not mentioning the fact that competition for the ever dwindling resources have continued to increase with the times. This is not to say that the population of the 20th century resided in a world that was free from such vagrancies. To the contrary, each period in time has presented its own benefits and challenges, but available evidence confirms that the benefits keeps constricting while the challenges expand as one progresses forward (Pascoe 227). It is the purpose of this paper to contrast the young people today to young people fifty years ago. Technological advancements have influenced the lifestyles of the modern youth in ways that cannot be wished away. The young people today are able to communicate with their friends and acquaintances in a click of the mouse or using other technological devices such as mobile phones.
The world has become increasingly globalized, with the youth turning into technology as a medium for meeting and interacting with new friends (Richman 183). For example, internet social networking sites such as Facebook and Tweeter have become the communication medium of choice for the youth. Some fifty years ago, such communication mediums could only be fanaticized in the subconscious, and the young people largely depended on physical face-to-face communication to create and maintain their friendship networks. It should be remembered that the young people today, unlike their counterparts fifty years ago, are becoming increasingly disoriented by such modern methods of communication. The warmth that was witnessed in social networks some fifty years ago is no more as the youth engage in online dating with strangers who live halfway across the world. Crime and degradation of moral values have been heightened by modern methods of communication, not mentioning the fact that these methods are unable to fulfill the emotional needs of the modern youth in ways that face-to-face communication did some fifty years ago (Richman 183). Consequently, it is safe to presume that the youth of today suffer more emotional breakdowns than their counterparts who lived fifty years ago. This is not to say that the methods do not have their own advantages.
To the contrary, the young people today are able to share ideas and problems with a lot of people using the internet protocols. They are also able to communicate much faster than young people fifty years ago. Moving on, it is evidently clear that young people today are faced with new and more intricate challenges than young people fifty years ago.
Employment opportunities are at their lowest, and new diseases such as HIV/AIDS and obesity are threatening to wipe out whole populations of the youth in some societies. Social vices such as crime and drug abuse have more than doubled, incapacitating the modern youth in ways that have greatly impacted their lives (Pascoe 228). Although it can be counter argued that these experiences also inflicted the young people fifty years ago, the magnitude in which they are happening today is utterly devastating to say the least. What’s more, these variables tend to put the young people of modern times into a spiraling vicious cycle, where they continue to further their agenda in crime due to the ever increasing frustrations and lack of opportunities for personal growth. Fifty years ago, a proper education meant a good life for the young people in career advancement and personal growth.
The same cannot be guaranteed today. The young people fifty years ago were affected by historical influences that modern-day young people could only dream of. For instance, slavery and subjugation of the black community by the mainstream white community was prevalent in the decades of the 1950s and 1960s. The racism and colonization influenced the worldviews of the young people in major ways. History teaches us that it was the young people in the likes of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, among others, who came up with the civil rights movement and other organizations that were meant to raise the consciousness of the blacks especially in America. This is not to say that young people from mainstream white society did not have their own problems; rather, this example is used to show that the young people fifty years ago had a fighting spirit that is totally lacking in young people today (Pascoe 229). This again does not imply that young people today are unable or unwilling to stand up and fight for their rights. To the contrary, they are ready, but the political and historical experiences of young people fifty years ago put them in the world scene in ways that has not been experienced in modern times.
Lastly, it can be argued that the overall way of life of young people today is different in major ways to that of young people fifty years ago (Pascoe 226). For instance, young people today are largely viewed as lacking in deeply entrenched philosophies that were so much dominant in young people fifty years ago. Today, young people appear to be in a sudden rush to achieve everything at the same time.
This can be attributed to the shaky and sometimes uncertain living conditions, not mentioning the fact that the cost of living in modern times is almost unbearable. Fifty years ago, the young people seemed to enjoy life that looked ordered in major facets, including sexual division of labor. This cannot be said of the young people in modern times.
Pascoe, C.J. What if a Guy Hit on You? Intersections of Gender, Sexuality, and age in the Field with Adolescents.
In: A. Best (Eds) Representing Youth: Methodological Issues in Critical Youth Studies. New York, NY: NYU Press Richman, A. The Outsider Lurking on Line: Adults Researching Youth Cyber cultures. In: A. Best (Eds) Representing Youth: Methodological Issues in Critical Youth Studies.
New York, NY: NYU Press