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Thread: Teenage Suicide and Violence - My rant

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
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    Gordon, Texas, United States
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    Teenage Suicide and Violence - My rant

    Everyone is looking for why the school shootings are on the increase and our young suicide rate seems to be going up.

    There's the taking God out of school reason. But God isn't out of schools. Everyone still gets to pray. The lack of school-led prayer has dropped off since O'Hair raised such a fit back in the early 60s, however, the frequency of school shootings have just been rapidly gained speed over about the last 2 - 5 years. We're in May and how many have we had this year?

    Then there's the violent video games. I don't play them so I don't really know what they are like these days, but again.. there's been some pretty violent video games for many decades. The graphics may be better now, but the violence has been around a long time.

    What hasn't been around that long, however, is social media and instant everything.

    24/7 news on how many channels now? I didn't even watch the news as a kid and neither did most of my friends, but these days you can't miss it and it's got much more detail... video of the event as it happened!

    Everyone has a phone/camera and the ability to show anything happening in front of them live. The audience they can hit is unlimited. One sensational, outrageous video can become viral and you've become a superstar. The ability to see live shootings, videos of angry people getting into fights, taking some stupid and sometimes life-threatening challenges, and those horrible "fails" videos. Who needs violent video games when you can see it all live on your phone?

    How many kids over the age of 12 doesn't have a phone with a data plan these days? With that data plan comes the ability to see anything anytime. These things were never available to us, especially with such ease of access. And the kids are absorbed into the phone. Look around any restaurant, event, or anytime a child is sitting still and they will likely have their eyes on that phone. Texting, playing games or looking at who knows what.

    On a recent vacation to South Padre we took a sunset dinner cruise on a catamaran. The view was beautiful. A woman played guitar and sang mellow songs as we cruised up the bay. The sunset was spectacular as always. One passenger, a boy that I would say was about 15, missed the whole thing. I never saw him look up from his phone. His earbuds inserted, he might as well have been back at the hotel room (he probably would have preferred it).

    Children are becoming totally intolerant of boredom. The habit of having the brain engaged in something always has made it where they don't know how to imagine, think to themselves or just sit quietly listening. Without that time of letting our brains develop from within rather than just while something is constantly being received, they miss learning how creative and calming quiet time can be. That's when you do your planning, your analyzing and just figuring things out.

    The ability to be mean to someone is much easier on social media than it is in person. Again, you have that audience out there that are happy to share your barb or someone's embarrassing moment. Most kids just don't have the maturity to be on social media in front of an audience like that.

    So everyone can keep wondering what's happening to our children. Keep pushing for school led prayer or ban the violent video games. Even work harder on that anti-bully campaign to see if that changes anything (bullies have been around forever.. but the school shootings haven't). But I'm convinced that the key fix to our situation is to pull the plug on kid's data usage on their phones and a close watch on limited social media at home until they are about 18. It would be a tough sell and probably impossible to do in our day. It's already out of hand. Schools allow kids to keep their phones with them. Parents want their kids to have their phones available to them at all times in case something happens to them. But even then... why do they need data usage on that phone. Kids need to go back to flip phones. They don't even need texting imo.

    Does anyone remember all the studies that were done trying to get parents to pull kids away from in front of the tv? Three hours a day was supposed to cause brain damage or something like that. Heck, that ain't nothing compared to what's going on with kids and the tiny boob tube they can carry with them.

  2. #2
    Excellent rant, I agree totally. What is the solution?
    Murphy was an optimist!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    6,507
    I think the solution lies with parents raising their own children....not the village, not the government or anyone else! You brought them into the world. You are responsible for them. Raise them to adulthood. Don't sit back for anyone else to do your job! Just my humble opinion.

    I am not as eloquent as you, Julie, in putting my thoughts into a coherent statement and I know that what I am advocating is, most likely, impossible in this electronic age. I think what I am trying to say is "JUST SAY NO"!!
    Walk softly and carry a big stick.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
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    Gordon, Texas, United States
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Excellent rant, I agree totally. What is the solution?
    I agree with lamb that the change needs to come from the parents. The government doesn't need to be raising our kids. The fact that the government has stepped in so far in so many ways is what, imo, has caused weak parenting. Instead of leaving it up to the parents to forbid their children to smoke after the knowledge of how bad it is for their children came to light, the government stepped in and made it illegal for minors to smoke and they (or their parents) can be fined. Now parents don't have to be the "bad guy", they can just tell their children it's the mean ol' government's fault. Instead of the fear of the real consequences of not buckling your children in the car, many parents just buckle their kids up because they can be fined if they don't. Back even further in history, the government started making it mandatory for children to attend school because many parents didn't think that was a high priority. We have government mandated vaccinations for children. There are laws that say what age we can leave them alone at home while a parent goes to the store or when they can be put to work. Which of those laws and regulations do you think we should drop and let the parents have that say again?

    It appears the problem is that if we leave it up to parents, statistically they just don't or won't do the right thing (according to society). Our legislature believes that if they don't put laws in to protect children from things their parents aren't doing, our kids will be in danger, unhealthy and uneducated... and history shows that they may be right.

    I'm not sure there is an answer. Once that pandora's box has been opened, it's usually impossible to close it. You don't know what you're missing until you have it, but once you have it, you sure don't want to lose it.. and usually abuse it. lol.

    I guess we may just have to live with more and more children who can't function without something in one hand that will communicate with the world. There will continue to be an increase in obesity due to inactivity. Suicide rates will continue to increase due to unreal expectations of the world around them and the lack of ability to cope with it. Face to face social skills will diminish, but at least everyone will understand what typing in ALL CAPS means. Our children's requirement for instant gratification will grow as quickly as their patience for anything slow, old, quiet or still will disappear.

    I guess we can just hope that the good things that come from technology will outweigh the bad.

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