In my Loneliness research, the conversation on how Social Media might be affecting a new generation keeps coming up. Here is a great yet scary article. Just because we like social media does not mean it is good for us. Love to hear peoples thoughts on this.
I’ve been researching generational differences for 25 years, starting when I was a 22-year-old doctoral student in psychology. Typically, the characteristics that come to define a generation appear gradually, and along a continuum. Beliefs and behaviors that were already rising simply continue to do so. Millennials, for instance, are a highly individualistic generation, but individualism had been increasing since the Baby Boomers turned on, tuned in, and dropped out. I had grown accustomed to line graphs of trends that looked like modest hills and valleys. Then I began studying Athena’s generation.
Around 2012, I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviors and emotional states. The gentle slopes of the line graphs became steep mountains and sheer cliffs, and many of the distinctive characteristics of the Millennial generation began to disappear. In all my analyses of generational data—some reaching back to the 1930s—I had never seen anything like it.
The experiences they have every day are radically different from those of the generation that came of age just a few years before them.
Psychologically, however, they are more vulnerable than Millennials were: Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones.
But the allure of independence, so powerful to previous generations, holds less sway over today’s teens, who are less likely to leave the house without their parents. The shift is stunning: 12th-graders in 2015 were going out less often than eighth-graders did as recently as 2009.
One line in the article stopped me.
So what are they doing with all that time? They are on their phone, in their room, alone and often distressed.
I feel like I could have just pasted the entire article. Just a taste above.
If I had to be honest NF’s music has been some of my favourite over the past few years. New song came out this week. If you watch his older videos you will notice all of his past videos are in this new video. Check it out. Make sure you check out the 3rd video which walks through his new video.
So you want to see his lyrics. Such a powerful lyricist.
“I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter
I had to fall to lose it all, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter”
It’s one thing to hear the hopeless words of an honest man in an honest moment. We relate. We appreciate the honesty. But to hear Chester Bennington sing these words on the day he died, knowing death came in a truly hopeless moment, knowing that single moment steals the chance of any future hopeful moment, the words take on a different weight.
Please know you’re not the only one who hurts. You’re not the only one with questions and sadness and pain. If life feels nearly impossible, please know you’re not alone. Please know that it’s okay to be honest. You don’t have to fake it. You don’t have to play it cool. If you need help, please know you’re worth whatever help you need. If you need to talk to a counselor, if you need to call or text a hotline, if you need to step into treatment, it’s perfectly okay. You deserve whatever help you need.
Please stay alive, for every future moment. For the next album you’re going to love, for the best concert you haven’t been to yet, for your wedding or your husband or your wife, for the kids you have or dream of having. Stay alive to be surprised, by love and hope and help.
If someone you care about is struggling, please reach out. Please break the silence. Please cross the distance. Remind them they are loved. Remind them they deserve better. Encourage them to get help.
I agree that it is really important to have honest discussions about our mental health. Fully agree with this article.
But as much as I encourage people to be as open as they want to be regarding their mental health—after all, the more it’s discussed, the more informed people will be and the more we can chip away at this disabling stigma—it is possible to have too much of a good thing. As more and more people come forward to reveal their struggles, it seems others are jumping on the bandwagon, borrowing jargon from the DSM-5 and co-opting the pain. Nothing is more fashionable right now than anxiety disorders.
People have taken to exaggerating their everyday experiences and punctuating sentences with terminology appropriate for a psychiatrist’s office. They aren’t nervous about an upcoming work presentation; they have “bad anxiety.” They aren’t uncomfortable to go to a big party where they don’t know anyone; they have “social anxiety.” And they don’t get butterflies in their stomach; they have “panic attacks.”
For my research in Loneliness I am posting 1 area in which we experience loneliness per week and see how people feel in each area.
So far we have talked about:
Loneliness in leadership
Loneliness in mental health
Loneliness in the workplace
This week we are looking at Loneliness in the Church. I have had many people message me already that they feel lonely in the Church world today. I have heard people talk about the disconnect between what the Church messages & songs content, and the disconnect with the modern church set up with stadium seating, 2 minute greeting time within the services, etc.
Love to hear any thoughts, quotes, books etc. You can post in the comments on all social media, this blog or send me an email/PM.