Since the invention of television and the internet, we have created a double-edged sword of both creativity and destruction that affects our very own society. Even though they are good tools and means that we take for granted as technologically advanced and dependent people, they have also become dangerous methods and venues that desensitize us from things that lessen our humanity, respect, and desire to seek the highest good. So many people have lost sight of what is true and real since they have become so numbed and desensitized by the popular media and their hidden agendas. Sadly, but true, we have allowed our children — from of young — to be controlled, dictated, and defined by those voices, too, that they want to be whoever the popular opinions and “role models” of this vain world tell them to be.
First of all, just as our middle-aged generations grew up with television in the 80s, the current younger generations are growing up glued to smartphones and tablets. Just as those who spent so much time growing up trying to fit in by Hollywood standards portrayed in movies and television shows, our children are now growing up listening to and seeking approval from shallow social media influencers and trendy voices. Being introduced and becoming dependent from of young, they have been subconsciously conditioned to trust whatever is from their smart devices. They have become dependent on those popular and anonymous voices because they are addicted to electronic screen time just as their parents with popular television and movie trends and their hidden messages.
Secondly, back in the past, people tried so hard to chase after popular clothes, hairstyles, shows, and movies so they can fit into their desired group. Nowadays, our children are addicted to gaining more views, followers, and likes. Both are coming from on the desire to be accepted and liked by others; however, one is grounded on fitting into a social-centered group or circle while the other is asocial and shallowly portrays a type of (false) social media interconnectedness. With parents being busier with work and career-centered lifestyle, young people have been left to their own desensitized demise because they are raised by those behind-the-screen personalities and voices from of young.
Hence, our children no longer have consistent, active, and personal examples of faith and morality because everyone is too busy trying to make it. So many have been so busy so they can be “free” and able to “afford” what they want. There is no longer the traditional set of role models that censor, counsel, and teach our children at home because everyone is constantly on the move and occupied with something else. Sadly, our children have sought out popular figures and influencers that are on social media and make them their role models. Shallow definitions of beauty, power, strength, and status offered in movies, televisions, and the internet filled the vacuum in their lives. We have allowed our society and its many feel-good, vain, and shallow voices to take away our actual roles and replace us with new role models whose success and response are fakery and vanity. And then, we wonder why our children have become ever more depressed, non-functional, anti-social, and ever more violent!
If we introduce our children to that little screen from of young, it will become the go-to means of vicarious reinforcement as well as the source of definition, power, and envy. They have subconsciously tied their minds to whatever information and “knowledge” gained from those screen times. After constant, prolonged, and daily exposure, an automatic and conditioned response automatically sets in; hence, our children become quick to subconsciously respond to the appropriate stimuli connected to those digital means. Even the most staunched psychologists will admit that this is a dangerous and uncontrolled exposure because it creates a life-long addiction and dependency! Children are blank slates, and whoever gained their attention is able to control them through constant exposure and conditioning methods. They are able to dictate and define them, especially if those conditions are instituted at an early young age.
The loss of self-control to violence, sexuality, immorality, and vanity have been won by whatever means they were exposed to from of young. If there is no longer right or wrong, there is no personal or real sanction to do anything wrong just as long as it makes us feel happy, gets more attention, or lessens our miseries. We have become such a subjective, sexualized, and violent society because our young people were exposed to so many different voices that they are now lost and do not know who they are deep from within, only what seems to be appealing, attractive, trendy, and popular. Hence, with the loss of real moral and faith-centered role models, our children have learned to live life with detrimental “avant-garde” examples that are unrestrained — no obedience to any real law. The subconscious and aggregated effects of a lifetime of media exposure are greater than any one of us can try to undo and change, unless we intentionally begin to teach, form, and show our children what it means to live more than themselves or what society wants of them.
Sadly, as a consumeristic and freedom-centered society, we have allowed ourselves to be on the road to ruin as long as we are free to do whatever we feel like doing! This new cult of toxic freedom creates a divisive, offensive, gaslighting, and vengeance-based witch hunt to downplay faith and morality, especially by nitpicking past histories, in order to justify its current egocentric desire for freedom and progress. So many have bought into the buzzword culture of innovation that everything of the past has to be dismissed and denied for the sake of current “progress.”
We have misused freedom, only for our sake, even at the cost of others as long as we get what we want! The teological concept of the pursuit of the highest good and the willingness to make sacrifices for the greater good of others have been thrown out the window because they no longer fit our current agenda of subjective, egocentric, and hedonistic likes and wants. Freedom has become the mass conditioning and desensitization of truth, purpose, good, and morality. Our vain search and pursuit of egocentric happiness has done nothing more than allowing the developing, feeding, and sustaining of individual pathologies. We have missed the point of why we come together as a society — for the greater good of all — and have trapped ourselves in a downward pathological path and a vicious cycle of anti-social violence, depression, and destruction.
We need to be personally invested in teaching and forming our children as role models of faith and morality. We need to stop being so naive in our failures to let our children be constantly exposed and ignore to predict the extent of damaging materials, their easy access, and availability to our children. Only by restricting such matter (from constant dependency), we as individuals, families, and society must take on the personal and communal responsibilities of protecting our children from these unhealthy forms of neglect.
We also must be intentional in how we can, especially as role models, deglamorize and condemn falsehood and vain agendas that are interwoven by popular and influencing voices. If we do not do this for our children, do not be surprised if there are more anti-social pathological behaviors that result in more depression, anxiety, violence, and other mental health breakdowns. If we do not do our part to create a moral and faith-centered safety catch, the vain and destructive voices of this world will remove it away from us. If we do not teach our children what is right and wrong, especially the importance of letting go of one’s personal good so as to make necessary sacrifices for the good of all, we will fail to empower them to say no to evil and falsehood.
If we no longer teach our children faith and morality, we have unleashed the weapon of mass destruction that destroys our society and our children’s souls because these voices will remove the “SAFE” and replace it with “GO” to whatever is destructively incentive. If we want to create a better world for our future generations, let us reclaim our roles as real teachers, models, and influencers of our young people with how we intentionally and personally live faith and morality. If we really treasure our children and value their lives, let us teach them who they are deep from within and Who they belong to, before this world and its vain voices make them more anxious, depressed, destructive, and without anything real to live for! Our children deserve this and we want to personally choose to give them what is really life-giving so that they are not lost, abandoned, and hopeless… and that really begins with us and how we choose to live a life centered on faith and morality.