by Alexandria Rose Rizik
According to a study conducted by Pew Research Center, the percentage of 18 to 34 year olds living at home is up to 32.1% — leaving more young adults to live with parents than not for the first time in 130 years. No, there is not something wrong with this necessarily but the fact is, they are living off their childhood homes as the unemployment rate in America has reached 5%. So why isn't this technologically advanced generation in any rush to pursue dreams of their own? Because we're too busy posting about it. Our entire lives are based on the opinions of strangers on the Internet — hence the increase in anxiety and depression by two-fold in our generation since the baby boomers (according to Forbes.com).
We feel that if we are perceived a certain way on the Internet — as happy, wealthy, prosperous — then maybe it will magically become real. It's quite frightening actually. No one knows the rewarding feeling of earning success — because why put in the work if you can just fake it instead? I have a friend on Facebook who constantly posts pictures of expensive foreign vehicles, iPads, watches, and selfies that are blatantly not him, trying to lead on to his followers that this is ALL his. What are the chances that a 22-year-old who failed out of high school is now in Beverly Hills raking in money — with no businesses or inventions to back him — as if it is falling from a tree? Zero.
Not only are our lives delusive thanks to the internet, but our attention spans are shot. Any slight moment of boredom can be preoccupied with scrolling through our news feed. And relationships are more than just "it's complicated." They're impossible. A boyfriend likes another female's photo, and we lose it! And if we don't answer his call but he sees we've been online…brace yourself.
Lastly to mention, we're lazy; need to find the definition of a word? Pull out your phone and Google it. Want to watch a movie? Log onto your computer and download it. Super hungry? Don't even bother picking up your phone to call Domino's — I mean, come on! Who doesn't have the app? Want to start a business? Hello! You can run an entire online store from the comfort of your bed. Missing a friend? Shoot them a text! The world is, quite literally, at our fingertips…and we've taken advantage of that.
The verdict is: we're ass holes. There is no sense of communication skills, consequently part of the reason why this world lacks jobs. People can hide behind computers, commenting counterattacks on the lives of others or even completely block them out but (unfortunately) that's not always how the world works. In reality, you cannot just delete people's comments when they might have something to say that you do not agree with — or post about how exciting your life is when you want to make an ex jealous. This world requires hard work and mental stability — something that has been left behind in the 20th century.
Social media isn't a bad thing — us humans don't know "moderation." I'm guilty of it, we all are! But we are capable of so much, especially in a time with so many rapid advancements. This generation needs to detach themselves from the idea that what they post becomes who they are. We've lost ourselves in a pixelated shit show and it's time to rediscover how efficient and successful we can be. It all starts with shutting down and powering off — and not advertising to the entire world that we've chosen to do so.