Friday, 16 February 2018
It's Not Just Guns
A few thoughts following the latest school shooting in Florida.
The, “self esteem generation” has the lowest self esteem of all. That is because they were raised with unreasonably high expectations. They were told they could achieve anything they wanted to, but were rewarded for just the opposite: even losers got “participation trophies.” This did two things: it devalued real accomplishment, and it gave kids the idea that they didn’t have to work hard to be rewarded. It also, I suspect, actually diminished, in a sense, true self-esteem, as those who received these participation trophies would come to realize that they did not, in fact, really earn or deserve one. Young people who were told they were, “special” found out that in the real world they were not. As Simon Sinek says (post below), it wasn’t necessarily their fault. It was their parents’ generation who raised them this way and ingrained these attitudes into them.
So take these disillusioned young people and put them in front of a computer, where their community is social media, where they and others can express their rage and frustration with impunity and without consequence, except receiving similar rage from others also online. Let that rage fester and increase, with no immediate outlet or restraining mechanism, such as face to face communication or community social restraint, and in certain cases it builds until it explodes.
Guns have been around for hundreds of years, but this spike in mass shootings, for the most part, has occurred, as I see it, with the advent and rise of social media use in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Anyway, those are some of my thoughts. I’m not sure I can explain it any better than that, but that is the connection I see.