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Generation clueless

» Andy Wolf

–awolf@my.apsu.edu

Of all the things people should be aware of, world events and politics should be at the top of the list. Tensions in one country raise the price of fuel in another.

Economic success and strain on one hemisphere of the globe determine what is a priority on the other. Even something so simple as a YouTube video or a cartoon can incite violent reaction, costing lives in the process.

Everything around us is in a perpetual state of motion, yet the average American 20-something college student is oblivious to the ever-changing environment we live in.

Christy Walker | Designer

I conducted my own informal survey of some of the students here on the APSU campus.

I asked approximately 100 students, of various genders and ethnicities, some very simple questions about important and relevant issues going on around them.

I asked them who their State Representative and Senators were and less than 5 percent knew the answer. Upon further questioning, 25 percent could name the three branches of government in the United States.

Less than 5 percent could locate Afghanistan (down to the region) on a blank map. Finally, the students were asked what Selective Service was and only 10 percent knew what it was.

However, 40 percent of the students asked knew who the current host line up was on “The X-Factor,” 74 percent could name the three main characters from the “Twilight” books and films and a whopping 93 percent could recognize a photo of Snooki from “Jersey Shore”.

The world is in the midst of troubled times. The economy is suffering, our nation is still at war and the global stage is becoming increasingly unstable.

Yet our nation’s greatest asset, it’s youth, is frighteningly unaware of the happenings in a world they will soon lead.

America’s youth is easily swayed by rhetoric without checking the facts for themselves; they openly accept things at face value.

This generation doesn’t have to think for itself, it would much rather operate as a social hivemind.

Unfortunately, as it is with computers, the “GIGO rule” applies: Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Like computers, this generation unquestioningly processes the most nonsensical of input data (garbage in) and produces nonsensical output (garbage out) as a result.

We are not computers. We are sentient, free-thinking human beings.

If you want to sit on the sidelines and blissfully ignore what is going on around you, then you have no grounds to complain when the fantasy world you have created for yourself comes crashing down.

In the 21st century, ignorance and misinformation is control.

Feelings reign supreme over facts, and the complex task of picking future world leaders has been reduced to catchy phrases and who can put the most propaganda on YouTube or dazzle you with celebrity endorsements.

Many young Americans complain about the way the country is going, yet they won’t go out and vote.

They know more about the inner workings of reality TV than the inner workings of their own community, government and society.

They shout “YOLO” yet spend their entire mediocre lives on a Twitter or Facebook account. They “follow,” but they do not lead.

They complain about the problems that plague their society, but do nothing. They are the problem.

The most dangerous weapon against society is a combination of ignorance and apathy.

About Andy Wolf, Staff Writer

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