Gone are the days when one could distinctively differentiate between what is acceptable or not acceptable. Today’s generation easily makes anything that favors them or looks less harmful to appear normal. This trend was not ‘the normal’ when our parents were young. Moreover, young people nowadays must keep up with what’s trending. This is exact opposite of what our parents did. We as young people are willing to do anything for money, fame, glory and to fit in. Sometimes we lose our morals in the name of ‘But everyone is doing it.’ It never rings a bell that our behavior is as a result of experiences, yet we tend to mirror our peers without figuring out what is making them act in a particular way. As long as, it looks trendy, we are game.
There is no SI unit of happiness, it cannot be graded.
Fortunate to be born in the digital era but let us take a journey through social media. Skimming through what young people are posting online will give you a clear picture of what our current society looks like. You will notice that the youth are comfortably exalting sadness. The current generation assumes that being sorrowful on social media makes them look more authentic. “People label their sadness as depression and their nervousness as anxiety when problems they are facing do not reflect their psychological problems. If healthy people are convinced that they are depressed, they consequently identify with glamorized social media posts exasperating the phenomenon even more,” Jennifer Jadyel.
It is now trendy to be depressed. Although speaking out could be a plus in dealing with mental health, a majority are just doing it for fun. It makes it hard for one to discern who needs help and who doesn’t.
Another noticeable trend is people posting what is viewed to be wrong according to societal norms and principles while making it look like the emblematic way of life. Although some of these posts are done anonymously some young people do not hide their identity. For instance, someone would shamelessly post property acquired in an unethical way and brag about it. It now looks normal to get into crime as long as one doesn’t get caught. If this were in the past, a few us could be reprimanded and stern action taken against us. The youth are motivated by making money without considering if they are rightfully doing it.
There is this new culture of doing what makes you happy. Happiness for the youth is divergent hence we cannot identify a common ground of what makes everyone happy. There is no SI unit of happiness, it cannot be graded. The motto is ‘Do what you like as long as it makes you happy.’ This has affected how we portray our behaviors, whether in public or private. We do not care what other people think of us as long as it favors us. Look at how we entertain ourselves, we have normalized using drugs to escape the realities of this world because everyone is doing it. When you are stressed your friend will hand you some illegal substances to calm down your nerves. Subsequently this is how so many youths have been recruited to drug abuse in the name of enjoying their youthful days. You will find videos or images online of people indulging in drugs, to most of us, it is cool. We are blinded by the idea of enjoying our youth thus forgetting the future is waiting to thank us or scold us for it.
Normalizing bad behavior happens gradually as long as deviance is tolerated. As the society systematically evolves it is crucial for us to reform and only normalize tendencies that will not affect us negatively.
Let us normalize, good morals, decency, healthy habits and rectifying bad actions. If normalization of selfish interest persists, we are going to have dysfunctional society that is rudderless. Similarly, if we take these habits ‘nomareee…..’
By: Stephen Kimathi, LDP Assistant Programs Officer