I asked them who they are and what they do…
Their answer? “We’re here to get people to take youth more seriously.”
So, we have a couple of twin girls, at the tender age of 16, who have taken it upon themselves to dedicate their time and energy to assisting in a global movement for change. They don’t follow conventional methods, they don’t speak in conventional terms and they have absolutely no fear of the flak they may have to take as a result of thinking, feeling and living outside the box of societal norms. To look at them, one may think ‘typical teenaged rebel’ to hear them speak and understand their message one might just stand in awe of the wisdom shared.
Now given that we are talking about the younger generation and hopefully in part ‘to’ the younger generation, I will not waste time mincing words. They live in a fast paced world, constantly inundated by visual and audio stimuli and rarely have time to read; they are after all reliant on videos for most of their generations’ information. In fact so wrapped up are they in their technology that they rarely have time anymore for human interaction let alone seeking out valuable information that will further their education about the world in which we live; how can they possibly understand how this world works or have anything to offer with regards to making it a better place in which to live.
I can almost hear some of the adults reading this saying ‘exactly – that’s what we’re worried about’…
If it happens to be the case that you agree with me, then you might not wish to read the rest. The above paragraph was written from the old world view of who our young people are, a way to show how it is that our unfortunate youth are perceived by many adults; thankfully, after 35 yrs of living, I have still not grown up so my personal perception of our young people is entirely different than that previously stated. In fact the whole point to bringing our two amazing young women on the show, was to prove by way of live on air example that our young people have much to say about the current situation we find ourselves in globally and have an innate ability to not only understand their world but to connect with it. As for the fear that technology is leading our young down a self destructive path that endangers human interaction I would like to point out a few things that may just alter how you feel about that as well.
First of all, this generation we see now, on the verge of becoming full-fledged adults have been the most creative and inspired generation in centuries. They have NOT been content merely to accept the entertainment that was fed to the masses as their sole means of passing the time; no, they saw a golden opportunity to use the technology provided and find ways to provide entertainment for each other. There are kids out there as young as 6 and 7 using the internet as a tool to reach out to and share with others, be it their own skills and talents or interesting bits of information they have stumbled upon. They have also managed to create a worldwide network that provides news from other parts of the globe to their friends on the other side of the ocean; and when I say friends, I do not use the term lightly, because our young people have built tight knit, communicative, caring relationships with other young people, in other countries, without cares or concerns for the barriers of race, colour or creed. They share personal stories, videos’ and in their desire to know and understand the world in which they live, have done more to further the goal of world peace than any generation before them without doing anything much beyond simply being themselves.
As much as I would love to stroke the adult ego, it is my belief that they have done this in spite of us, not because of us. You see, I remember well the years not so long ago when I was young and computers were just hitting the mainstream. The adult interference into the young person’s ability to explore the potential of that technology was at an all time high, furthered by the concerns and cares that technology was providing the predators of our young with yet another tool to reach them, all the while exposing them to danger. Internet usage was closely monitored and many a meeting was held by concerned parents groups as to the long term effects that modern technology would have on the family unit. The normal and expected teenaged rebellion went digital and young people were no longer sneaking out at night but rather sneaking time in on line; parents were literally lying awake in bed at night in fear that their young ones were putting themselves at risk even though their young ones were right there in the house with them and not out on the streets. Yet despite the attempts to shut them down, and ultimately to shut them up, they prevailed (as they always do) and in time taught us a new way to communicate with and connect with the world in which we live.
Where would we be I wonder if they had listened to the advice of the adults?
It may sound harsh these things I am saying, it may seem as if I am suggesting that our young people would do better without us… And perhaps in a way I am trying to encourage some of us to occasionally step back and get out of their way but ultimately there is, in my mind, a perfect solution to the parent-child imbalance of generations past but it is up to us, the adults to bend our stiff necks a little to allow it to work. If we could, just for a moment, let go of our desire to create a better world FOR our children we may find it within us to CO-CREATE and better world WITH our children… after all they have certainly proved time and time again, that they at least, have it within them to try…
Jean Victoria Norloch
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