Generation Lost

NEW COLUMN! by Leah Kmosko

I was scrolling down my news feed on Facebook when I came across this video:

At first, I laughed. It’s funny how people could answer these simple questions in such stupid ways, right? A few minutes after the video was over, as the content of it started to sink it, the funniness wore off just a little. And then a lot. I realized that this illustrates something that I had been thinking about quite often – I am increasingly embarrassed to be associated with this generation.

That wasn’t the first time. I was struck in quite the same way a few days ago. I was sitting at a table surrounded by my peers. I wasn’t really involved in the conversation, I was just listening, trying to get to know everyone before I jumped in. But as I started to listen more and more, I kind of wished that I hadn’t. The topics of conversation were appalling to me! From just plain stupid, to just plain disgusting, it was clear that I wasn’t going to be fitting in well with this group.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m a teenager and I can be just as unintelligent. I’m sure I have been on many occasions, and will be on many more to come. I’m not trying to say that I’m necessarily “better” than these other people. But it sure seems to me like I’m the only one who sees it! I find myself in those situations whenever I’m around people my age. Sometimes, I look around me, and I just KNOW that there is no way in this world that I could even pretend to act like these people do.

This is our generation. We have a fixation with Hollywood, the Internet, and all aspects of life that aren’t real. We don’t pay attention in school, we don’t seem to have any interest in things that will help us get ahead in life, and we go from day to day running around like a chicken without its head. (Keep in mind I’m using “we” as a generalization. I realize that not every single teenager is like this.) In my opinion, we are the generation that has no identity, no sense of direction, and sadly, no bright future. Videos like the above “Lunch Scholars” do a good job of destroying whatever hope there might have been.

Think about it. What has my generation as a whole begun to accomplish that the generation before us hasn’t. Hmm…we can use the computer for social networking, hours of useless YouTube watching, and pointless time wasting websites like Tumblr and Stumble Upon. We know how to use the DVR to record TV shows so we never have to miss them. We know how to send 160 character text messages in under a minute. We know how to get cheat codes to unlock things in video games. We know which cast member of 16 and Pregnant just broke up with her boyfriend. Ohh, and we know how to use video cameras to record ourselves singing covers of other people’s songs.

Basically, we have a million and one more tools than any generation before us, and the majority does nothing with them. Why? Because we’re lost. No one knows who they are so we end up spending most of our young adulthood drifting from group to group, trying to fit in and “discover ourselves.” Sometimes we do find where we belong and we settle down there, lacking the motivation to move and start the process all over again. Otherwise, we never find where we belong, don’t have the strength to handle it, and spend the rest of our time being unsatisfied social outcasts. I blame the media for constantly bombarding us with tons of content we weren’t prepared to handle.

Really, I believe that the exposure we have to all this stuff has made us a little psychotic, and confused, which in most cases, leads to this listless stupidity. Oh, of course, we all have the power to overcome, but most of us don’t. We don’t feel like it. We’re either comfortable or just lazy. Adults pretend not to understand us, so we greatly lack direction. We are Generation Lost.

It’s depressing and frustrating. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though. As hard as it may be to believe, there are some people out there who do know what they’re doing, and do have a good head on their shoulders. Hopefully, these are the people that will end up in power when our time comes. Hopefully. Until then, those of us who realize what is going on should stand up and fight against what is going on. Make our way to the top. Don’t fit in because it’s easy. Don’t pretend to be stupid because that’s what’s expected of you. Don’t be one of the lost. Being an individual is exactly what our generation is not expecting. Right now, the best thing you can do is to just be YOU.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~ Gandhi

Leah Kmosko, 16, has been homeschooled her entire life. She has always loved writing, and plans to pursue it (in some form) as a career. Generation Lost consists of her views and opinions about what’s going on with teens and young adults in the world today.

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