3 Reasons Why This Generation Is Becoming Emotionally Desensitized
Before I begin…I am not trying to emulate that typical grandparent at Thanksgiving dinner spewing out things like “In my day, kids had respect for their elders, those darn smartphones are to blame!”
Okay, maybe I do slightly agree with that statement, in fact, it’s a prominent factor that I will delve into shortly. However, my point is that I recognize how things were nowhere near perfect in previous generations. We see this in history and in the plethora of awful occurrences that happened in the world.
While it is true that we millennials and gen-z individuals are finally shining a light on mental illness and acknowledging its need to be destigmatized, one concerning issue that seems to be raising hardly any red flags is that people are feeling less and less.
Instead of self-help providing the benefit of happiness, self-help has often turned into how not to feel.
Here are 3 main reasons why this generation has become a victim of apathy:
1) An Abundance of Confidence
Now we can all agree that self-love and confidence is a positive thing. However, the problem now is that people have often turned confidence into selfishness.
Think about it…how often are we bombarded with tweets and quotes from Instagram or Pinterest telling us not to care, telling us to allow nothing or no one to disturb your inner peace…or your growth?
In fact, we’ve all looked up to these inspirational words and ideas and likely even re-post these things ourselves here and there.
It’s not the fact that these ideas of putting oneself first are false. Prioritizing yourself and learning to fully love and embrace every part of yourself is a vital quality that everyone should inhibit.
The problem is that many people will become so wrapped up in their own self worth that they lose important qualities like care and compassion for others.
In short, selflessness has become selfishness and confidence has become narcissism.
2) Celebrities and Influencers
We know that feeling all too well: Going on to check your Instagram feed and a picture pops up that shifts your entire mood completely.
Whether it be a model with a seemingly flawless face and body, a beautiful destination that reminds you of how much you want to just pick up and run away, or maybe a glamorous celebrity or a motivational entrepreneur with the dream life you doubt you’ll ever have.
The reality is that we admire and look up to these people who we think have everything, but often are just showcasing the aesthetically pleasing portion of their life.
We look up to these individuals and measure their value in material standards: The clothes they wear. The gold chain around their neck. The car they drive. The number of guys or girls that flood their presence. The money they flash. The drugs they consume.
We hold these fake standards of happiness to such high regard when these are not actual values that contain any ounce of true emotion or substance.
3) Devaluation of People
I leave the most concerning factor for last: The devaluation of people. This goes for any type of relationship one has in their life whether it be platonic or romantic.
People do not recognize the value of others.
Maybe it’s the myriad of quotes telling people to drop any friend who does them wrong, rather than possibly heal and forgive that person over time.
Maybe it’s the pictures of shirtless men flexing in the mirror or the half-nude models twerking for the camera that starts to make one’s partner seem inadequate.
Yes, it is all of those things.
But it is ultimately the rhetoric of false labeling. This can be seen all over social media, whether it be a heart-warming quote or a witty meme.
Like the way so many men label women “bitches” and fear expressing actual emotion for a woman in fear of being labeled “gay” by their male witnesses. (Which last time I checked, a male and female relationship is pretty much on the “heterosexual” side isn’t it?)
Like the way so many women refer to men as “thirsty” or “creepy” for simply expressing affection a tad bit too soon or not putting on a phony, play hard to get, bad-boy persona.
Like the way a friend is so easily labeled “toxic” for doing something even the slightest bit out of line.
And it’s because of this, that people are constantly thrown away and treated as if they were an item…expendable.
A couple has a break-up after years and years of being together, and within sometimes only a week's time… they’re already onto the next person.
Friends and family members fail to resolve an argument and go for years on end without speaking. Then before you know it someone drops dead and the other person must suffer from that aching guilt and regret each day forward.
People are unique and valuable, but nowadays people have become so accustomed to throwing away valuable relationships left and right.
This is the result of society’s constant echoing screams of “Remove toxic people from your life!”
This isn’t to say that actual toxic people should be given a pass and you should keep someone in your life despite how they treat you.
Value people, but know the difference between what is toxic and what isn’t.
So those were my three reasons why this generation has become so emotionally desensitized.
An abundance of confidence, celebrities and influencers, and devaluation of people are only a fraction of the reasons that numb has become the new content.
Emotions fuel the world. Apathy sucks the life out of it.