What does it mean to be a Young Person in Such a Time?


Growing up as a young person in this age is quite challenging. Photo Courtesy of Pinterest.

There is no such a unique time to grow up as a young person as our time today. To the left is a lot of technological and scientific advancement, and to the right is a lot of economic as well as catastrophic developments. On one end life seems to move at a speed like no other in our history and then at some point the life brakes to halt because of pandemics.

At the centre of these drifts are the young people who seem to be thrown out of balance. For instance there is a joke that was making rounds last week on our social mediums about the fear of the young people to die at such perilous times as in the current corona pandemic.

In fact it is disastrous if that young person is unmarried. The fear is about their eulogies being as short as the twinkling of an eye. Mr. X was born on such a date. He went to school, hustled and finally died because of cause Y. And that is done.

 Should such joke raise any alarms about the state of youth in our country and around the globe? Does it point to a suppressed group of people who may be looking for an avenue to unleash their pressure? Are we progressing scientifically and moving backwards sociologically?

Our answers to all those questions above depends on our generational gap and to what environments we were born. I learnt of that fact while listening to a radio program by the BBC radio program that was exploring the effects of lock down on youth in lieu of the Corona Virus crisis.

The young people spoken to who varied slightly in age had unique ways of lamenting over the lock downs. One young man kept talking about missing the opportunity to be with his friends. The same was reiterated by a young girl slightly older than the boy.

The interviewer was quick to point out that social media exists and that they can connect through it. These young men and women said that they do connect via social media but that cannot replicate the intimate connection that physical meetings bring.

What this meant was that however much we may want to use social media as an alternative to fellowships, it may not bring the satisfaction that physical meetings brings. Personally I prefer physical meetings a lot as opposed to connections via social media. And it is not a matter of generational shift.

In fact for a lot of young people, their preference to hang out with their peers is incomparable. So every opportunity to hang out is one to hop to and ride along. What this means is that most young people seek validation from their peers through these partying and hang outs.

No wonder they don’t look at circumstances such as lock downs as opportunities to spend time with their families and also seek validation from their loved ones. They look more across the fence than within the fence. It thus turns out that their parents and family members feel overlooked and ‘ignored’ in a way even when they are together.

Now growing in such a times as today may mean the parents of tomorrow don’t have any right to complain when their children ‘ignore’ them. It may as well as mean that they will be the ones to ignore their children in that future. Whatever payback method it will take, we will need to accept.

Another interesting fact is that growing as a young person in this age and era, we are in constant bombardment of information and innovation which is what primarily drives the world. Any slowdown in the process means a huge blow to youth in general.

It may not be that what face value gives us is the real value but yet as human as we are, we are always driven by whatever we perceive first. So as a youth we are in the constant race of comparing ourselves to our fellow peers in terms of any slight advancement; innovations, business, jobs, marriage, children, houses, cars et cetera.

The folly of youth is however simple, that we race to live other peoples’ lives, now magnified falsely by the age of social media, and forget to live our own lives.

And the greatest regret in life is to realize that you lost your precious time living out someone else’s life and when the time to start living your own life comes you realize it is already late and you may never recover or catch up.

What this has resulted to is a lot of depressions among the young people. There is an increased rate of depression and attempted cases of suicide among the young people all the world round. And now that everybody seems to be in their own race, the depressed cases don’t have alternatives to resort to for them to get help and as thus some end up committing suicide ultimately.

The older people will be of the idea that now is time for a slowdown of the race for the young people so that they may even enjoy a lovely sleep and rest for a short while before embarking on the race again when all is up and running again. But how many young people can agree to this?



Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Politics, Policy, Technology, Current Affairs, Opinion, Agriculture, Energy, Education, Entrepreneurship, Governance, International Emerging Issues, Society, and culture. For featuring, promotions or support write to us at dailyfocus9@gmail.com
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