Saturday, 4 May 2019

Why Gen-Z is an Avatar

Beyond Repair

A piece recently appeared in the NZ Herald.  It was of the "is it really that bad?" genre.  The subject was Gen-Z young "adults".  We use inverted commas, because it is becoming more and more obvious that Gen-Z is populated with human beings who show every sign of perpetual childishness.  

The Herald columnist, Eleanor Black wanted to know whether this was true of the upcoming generation, or an exaggeration.  She asked Jonathan Haidt, an "esteemed social psychologist".   She reported his comments as follows:
. . .  (He) got worried in around 2014, when he says a new kind of student walked into his lecture hall. They were walking, talking representations of the meme: "We are all balloons filled with feelings in a world full of pins."

Raised in the shadow of 9/11 by overprotective parents who bulldozed any obstacle in their way, Haidt says these young people are emotionally fragile and prone to experience mental health problems.  They are immersed in social media, where nuance is scarce and success is measured in cutesy thumbs-up symbols and retweets. They remain dependent on their parents even while criticising everything about them.

While they passionately push against racial, sexual and gender discrimination, they can not stomach a debate in which someone with a "dangerous" opinion is allowed to speak. They find insult in jokes and offence in tone, yet they favour call-out culture over in-depth discussion.

"Gen Z have developed a morality that makes it really hard for them to co-operate with anyone or be successful in work," Haidt says via Skype, ahead of his speaking tour appearance in New Zealand. "I fear that so far Gen Z has been so sheltered from the need to work out differences on their own, they have been made morally dependent.

"We have always given them the instruction if you see something say something, don't handle it yourself, report the person. So they have not developed the same skills of democracy. I think as Gen Z becomes a bigger part of the workforce and the electorate we are going to see many institutions functioning far worse than they do today - and that's pretty bad."
How on earth can this kind of world be corrected, let alone redeemed?  No doubt there will be endless think tanks, investigations, and diagnoses.  Despite all this, we predict little will change.  Why? Because the cause of the crisis lies with the parents and schools of Gen Z.   They are so steeped in self-gratifying worldliness that they cannot manumit the slavery to which they have bound themselves.  Their children will follow in their footsteps, only more enchained. 

The Christian community needs to walk to the beat of  a radically different Drummer.  In one's own Christian life and Christian family and Christian school and Christian church we must work together to build a replacement Christian community and civilization.  Soli Deo gloria.

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