First thing is first. In what way are we ignorant? Personally, I think the worst sense of ignorance is the extent to which we conform. What is conformity? The easiest way for me to describe it is “mindlessly following the crowd, just because”. There are two types of conformity, and our generation is a major culprit in both areas. There is obviously, normal conformity – we just do what every else is doing, without really questioning why we’re doing it. Often, we conform in order to feel part of a group. Most teenagers feel like they need to be part of a group, otherwise they feel like outsiders which can lead to insecurities and in more cases than we often think, can lead to self-harm. The internet is a dangerous thing. Facebook, twitter and Tumblr all allow for us to be connected almost instantaneously & we are bombarded with images & ideas more so than any other generation. The problem is that, with this element of conformity (which is a phenomena shared among ALL human beings not just our generation) combined with the speed of the internet, we often adopt ideas without really thinking about WHY we support such ideas.
A recent example is the Kony 2012 campaign. If you don’t know what it is, I’m not going into it in detail here, you can find plenty about it on youtube. The 30 minute video quickly went viral and millions of teenagers suddenly thought they were social activists. I must admit, I was slyly sucked in by the campaign. I posted the video on facebook, but that was as far as it went. I’m pretty sure people still believe it’s a genuine cause, but since its been launched there has been a lot of criticism and the creator of the video, Jason Russell was arrested for disturbing the peace, allegedly running around naked and masturbating while “under the influence” of something.
Now this is my problem with it. Millions watched the video and obviously, were moved by it’s content .. THEN, they were quick to jump on the bandwagon & donate money to this cause without thinking of the obvious warning signs. The main issue was, for a non-profit company, HOW did they have all this merchandise ready in such a “short” time as they say. If I go into it, this post will be WAY too long so here are 2 videos that will shed some more light on the situation. Ugandan girl gives her reasons why Kony 2012 is a scam and Phoney Kony: Nabil Goes In – more reasons why Kony2012 is bullsh*t
In short, we follow what everyone else is doing without thinking of it ourselves. Then the other type of conformity is the ANTI-conformist. These are the people that go AGAINST everything they see everyone else doing. An example is, if everyone is dyeing they hair blonde, they may dye it black or brown. If they listen to a particular artists, as soon as everyone else jumps on the bandwagon, they stop listening to them. It’s still ignorant behaviour because they are still going against the crowd without valid reason.
Moving on. As I mentioned before, the internet bombards us with images and ideas daily. This leads to two things. ONE. We have so much information available to us now that mastery is hard to achieve. What is mastery? Apparently it’s one of the things humans strive to achieve during life and one of the “keys to happiness” – with so much information it’s hard for us to keep track and our mind is overwhelmed. Many people say that the only times they can think clearly is when they are on the toilet. A peculiar statement, but if you really think about it, it makes sense. This generation are so submerged in the technological movement that we rarely see people outside today unless it’s a rave or something & even there, with mobile internet, its hard to get away. So, sitting on the toilet, we have time to think like that, unless you take your laptop to the toilet, then I don’t know for you o.
The second reason, because there are so many ideas thrown at us so fast we often adopt them then push them to the back of our minds, and although this may seem harmless, these ideas may sprout into seeds which can turn into something bigger.
But there is hope. I know a lot of people who are able to think for themselves. The best way to tackle the ignorance of the generation is to teach children to question their motives and WHY they are doing something. & I don’t mean to question WHY they have to do chores or why their parents tell them to do something. But that’s a whole different subject I don’t even wanna get into.
Yes, the generation is ignorant, but there are a lot of us out there that don’t just mindlessly follow what everyone else is doing & ask the right questions at the right time.