Today's youth is more practical and do not get swayed by emotions. Our young generation is very much focused to their future and ambitions as they want to achieve and fulfill their dreams and aspirations. They wish to explore all possible horizons and for that they do not mind going away and leaving their family and friends behind. Nowadays,losing friends is a sign of growth.
Sara Konrath, a researcher at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research , released her results on a study analyzing and comparing empathy among college students over the last thirty years. The result comes out to be that there is the "biggest drop in empathy" in recent years. She writes, 'College kids today are about 40% lower in empathy than their counterparts of 20 to 30 years ago.'
In a related survey research, psychologists have labelled the current generation of young people the "I generation" or "Generation Me" and also describe how young people today take it for granted that the self comes first. Nowadays, youths are 'living in the age of entitlement' at time of 'narcissism epidemic' which links the self-absorption and lack of empathy together. It is obvious that this growing emphasis on the self is accompanied by a corresponding devaluing of others.
Psychologists relate this behavioural pattern of young generation mostly to the increase in exposure to and use of media. For example, many in this current generation have had repeated lifetime exposure to violent video games and horror films. There is a growing body of research suggesting that violent video games and perhaps films are a cause of increased aggressive behavior, thoughts and feelings sometimes even leading to develop a mysterious fear in a person's mind. It can even lead a paradigm shift in the person's personality and disposition. A this has caused a decrease in empathy and prosocial behavior across both gender and culture.
Additionally, the researchers surmise that the ease of having and ignoring or even dumping online friends may make it easy for them to tune out when they do not feel like responding to the distress of others and may carry over offline as well. The inflated expectations of success fuelled by reality shows creates a social environment that encourages self- focus and works against slowing down and listening to someone who needs a bit of sympathy.
Obviously, any statements about an entire generation are not true and applicable to every person belonging to that generation. Even today there are young people who are deeply empathic and caring. There still is the belief of true love. There still is humanity left in some. Yet these general trends and statistics are alarming. It would behoove those of us in a position to influence today's youth to pay attention and be proactive about it while we can be. Paying attention to the forces that influence children and the youth so that they can grow empathic and restore the dilapidated state of humanity is not only better for them but ultimately a step for the betterment of us all. Here are some of the Ted talks that are aimed to empower oneself.