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Superficial and shallow

Family members now seldom relate to one another in the way they once did. No longer do we gather at table to share meals and meaningful conversations. We seem to be always in a rush. What has happened? And what has happened to us?

I believe technology is mostly to blame. A useful tool in the advancement of our world, it may also be responsible for the downfall of this world. People have become slaves to technology, as well as to the trends and ways of society.

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I’m not saying it’s wrong to work hard to own the fine things in life, to be concerned about appearances, to rely on someone else’s opinion, or to acquire some degree of fame. The problem arises when we allow these to take control of us. It’s like owning a car or a phone: We buy them because we have need for them. When they get old, we replace them. So we buy new ones, better models, preferably top of the line, and we let these things own us instead of the other way around. Thus effectively controlled, we are hindered from living life with a purpose.

What one mostly sees on social networking sites are selfies, arguments, status updates on how badly one’s day is going, and so on. Are these what life is all about? I would’ve said “a teenager’s life,” but this attitude is no longer limited to teens. So many of us have lost sight of the important things in life, and most of us depend on other people’s opinions to know whether they meet the standards to accept themselves, or not.

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Today’s generation has become superficial and shallow: superficial because we choose to acknowledge only the appearance of things and use these as bases for judgment and worth; shallow because we lack the depth to want to know the depth and value of something, or someone else.

It’s truly sad how we now tend to focus on material things. The reason for this is even sadder: Society dictates a particular mindset, and escaping that mindset is a difficult task.

I find this issue of the superficiality and shallowness of today’s generation important because I am part of it; I grow and evolve with it, and have become as much a slave as anyone else. All of the things I see are blinding me from what is supposed to be seen. And as much as I’d like to ignore this issue, I can’t because I see it all around me.

Still, I try to remember where I came from and what I’ve been taught, and each day I strive to give more meaning and understanding to all the other things life has to offer. The importance of this matter to my own family has lessened because I am breaking free and becoming my own person. While my family has less to worry about, the other families and the rest of society don’t.

Children quickly learn the ways of teenagers and young adults, and they incorporate what they learn into their everyday lives. This results in a change in the way they communicate, which parents are most likely to adapt to as well. Mealtime family conversations are losing their value because the children are constantly on their phones, paying more attention to the lives of others than what’s going on in front of them. It’s shocking to see children worrying about their appearances and opinions at such an early age. They go through so much pressure and develop so many worries that may cause mental health problems someday.

These children are the future generation, and if they turn out to be the same as our generation today, how will we ever progress as a people? How will we make the world a better place for the next generation when all we care about is ourselves and how others perceive us, and when the only motivation to work is to be able to acquire and show off material things?

We cannot keep going down this road. It will lead to the destruction of our society.

Czarmaine Odelle Bohol, 18, is a student of Saint Louis University.

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TAGS: social media, superficiality, Technology
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