A Generation of Sadness

The metaverse has everything you need, including an abundance of hopelessness.

A Generation of Sadness
Photo by Dollar Gill / Unsplash

The Cultured Warrior #048

I'm a huge fan of the Breaking Points Podcast.  Krystal and Sagar do a great job of (1) actually reporting, (2) the actual news, (3) from an actually balanced perspective.  Their 4/12 episode highlighted the massive problem of depression in young people today.

Clip from 4/12 show | Breaking Points on YouTube

The referenced material comes from an article in The Atlantic and highlights that 44% of GenZ feel pervasive and persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness.  The original author highlights four significant contributors:

  • Social Media,
  • Decreased Sociability,
  • The "News", and
  • Parenting

Given my professional background I could really dig into the details here, but let's just summarize a bit.  

Social media is a great tool, however, it (and other forms of digital communication) are beyond insufficient at replicating real human-to-human (face-to-face) interaction (1).  This is a double whammy due to the pervasiveness of digital communication (and a pandemic didn't help, see below).  There's less exploration and risk taking regarding other people and experiences in/of the world – in other words life is dull (2).

Not only is the experienced world more dull, but the "news" persistently catapults it's viewers from one catastrophe and click-bait tragedy to the next – indeed, no news is good news (3).  Lastly, the parental threat on my generation (millennials) was "helicopter parents"; but somehow things got worse and we evolved into "snow plow" parents.  That is, they remove even the slightest sign of adversity or chance of failure – compound this (4) with the points above.

So, the "prime of life" for GenZ is:

  • exclusively digital
  • unrisky and unexciting
  • inundated with the tragedies from around the world, and has a
  • crippled growth potential due to hyper-sanitized parenting strategies.

Alas, it seems we've learned nothing in the last 70 years about isolating and medicating people as there have been 30 student suicides in the Las Vegas area alone since the pandemic began.

Schools face rise in suicides during pandemic: “So many kids are hurting”
At least 30 students have died by suicide in a Las Vegas school district since the pandemic began.
30 student suicides in Clark County, USA since 2020 | CBS News
“Although several studies reported little or no increase in suicide rates in the early phase of the pandemic, to our knowledge there is no detailed report for the entire first year of the pandemic or longer.”

This is a truly disgusting observation of how "news" and "the science" are being abused, manipulated, and "reported."  

COVID-19 pandemic linked to increased suicide rate in Japan
The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with an increased rate of suicide in Japan, especially among young adults in their 20s, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open. “During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there were concerns that suicides would increase due to c…
Pandemic increases suicide rates in Japan | Healio News

I'll leave you with the conclusions of a study in Japan to ponder for yourself (60% relative increase in suicide for women, 24% relative increase in suicide for men):

"The researchers also observed noticeable surges of suicide incidence among both women (0.69 vs. 1.10 deaths per 100,000 people) and men (1.88 vs. 2.34 deaths per 100,000 people) in their 20s."

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