Every generation struggles with change. The difference is that past changes were what they were. No illusions. Today with the onset of hand held computers, and social media addiction, we are a world obsessed with constant updates and there is nothing that is left to shock us. We feel the need to update “friends” on everything new going on in our lives. We feel the need to be entertained. We seem to purposely put up smoke and mirrors. And the same source we go to for social updates has now become what we rely on for accurate news. The hardcore news itself has become morphed with entertainment. We have been conditioned in this new age of change to be entertained, and not question substance. And somehow what we do now question, is what many of us were raised on in the past- a religion that set the moral tone of how you were going to lead your life, or a simple set of guidelines to be a positive contributor to our society, respect for authority . I am not a Bible thumper, but I am a Christian being who loves God, her family, a good glass of wine or too, dogs, chocolate, I can go on and on. I believe I am respectful of other people’s views. Have I strayed from the moral structure I was raised on in my lifetime? You bet. But I always came back to it, as I have now. But what I am witnessing in my own life, raising two great kids now adults, is that they and many of their peers are pulling away entirely from these basic principals they were raised on. So they are liberal, I’m conservative. They are ok with all the things I don’t seem to be ok with, one being that when I’m watching television with the family, I’m not liking the discomfort I feel at the surprises that come up on the screen. The radio is not great either when you have little ones in the car. It’s not the end of the world, but I will say my world has been rocked.
My husband said to me, “It’s interesting to see how polarizing this election is.” It’s true, however, we have become quite polarized across the board. The big problem I’m seeing today is that it is getting harder and harder for people to voice and materialize their beliefs without being castigated. Whether it be a belief in a sports team, or lifestyle, or religion we have lost common courtesy respect for a differing opinion. And we have been numbed by social media.
I went to a rivalry college game a few years back. Never again. I felt so unsafe in my surrounding just because I favored the opposing team. In the past it may have been innocent taunting- today it’s threats and ugliness. The excitement and peace I felt going to the games and kicking back is gone and just not fun anymore. And guess what, if and when someone gets beat up at an event- instead of being encouraged to stop- it instantly gets posted on social media to again, entertain and to update . When cars get burned after a Super bowl game, again it is featured on the news and has somehow become the norm. We have a young man choosing not to stand for the pledge at the games, this saddens me, I do not like it, and I do not support or agree with it, however, I can respect a differing of opinion. But can people respect my own differing opinion? Sadly, I have lost some of my own authenticity because I am being steered to avoid events and to avoid verbalizing something contrary to what is widely accepted now. I am not alone. A bumper sticker on a car, has now become a target. A point of view posted on social media becomes a war. Until we can get to the point of mutually respecting differing opinions, listening to differing opinions, and returning to a more respectful way of comporting ourselves when we are around others, I think everyone is in danger of losing their own authenticity.