David Livingston wrote:I have thought for some time that in the "west " and to a lesser extent the "east" that we are extending child hood by increasing the time in education and reducing the expectation of when young people should get married , then I read this https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/ claiming everything is the effect of the smart phone generation , not so sure about that . It is becoming obvious that with out immigration then we would have population decline in both europe and the USA . Japan , Scotland Ireland and other area regions already have issues with this . I wonder if this is the planet effecting humans or something similar . What does everyone else think ?
I'm not understanding how you are tying these different things together, or how immigration has anything to do with the article?
My Dad left school at 14 , I could have left school at 16 my daughter left at 18 . Is this extension of childhood a good idea ?
I think the article makes some really good points about the effects smart phones are having on our society, although I disagree that today's children are physically safer than they have ever been, largely because I don't think lying in your bed on your phone all day is "safe". It may keep you from some physical danger, but I think the long term effects of inactivity on health, and the fact that many kids can't do a single push-up or run 1/4 mile will prove to be far more physically damaging in the long run. The points about the damage of isolation from real relationships seems like a very real thing to me, and I find the rash of suicides from cyber-bullying, especially in very young children to be truly disturbing. I don't envy parents trying to walk the line between not handicapping their children technologically, and not letting them become a member of the I-don't-talk-to-humans-club.
Population reduction I think would be a very good thing, but the numbers make me uneasy.
It seems that they are keeping their options open, regarding work, personal relationships and investment. This may work out for some, but I suspect that many will not ever find that dream job, or that perfect spouse, because they aren't actively looking. I read a personal ad last week, where a 45 year old woman said that she is just a big kid, and is now looking to settle down and have a baby, after spending 20 odd years, living at yoga retreats and other places. If this does somehow happen for her, she will be near retirement age when that child is still in school. If childhood is extended further, maybe this as-yet unborn child will move out when the woman is 75.
David Livingston wrote:...The writing blames "smart phones " for changing young peoples behaviour but I see this as part of a wider issue that predates the use of these phones. ....
I would tend to agree and feel it to even predate the telephone. In fact, I kind of lean toward those who take it back a few more millenia, starting around dawn of agriculture:
"The risk in epigenesis is that the nurturers and caretakers do not move forward in their role in keeping with the child’s emerging stages. If such deprivations are severe enough, the normal fears and fantasies can become enduring elements of the personality. The individual continues to act from some crucial moment in the immense concerns of immaturity: separation, otherness, and limitation. Wrestling with them in juvenile and primary modes, even the adult cannot possibly see them holistically. Some of these omissions and impairments enhance the individual’s conformity to certain cultures, and the culture acts to reward them, to produce them by interceding in the nurturing process, and so to put a hold on development. In this way, juvenile fantasies and primary thought are articulated not only in the monosyllables of the land scalper, but in philosophical argument and pontifical doctrine. Irrational feelings may be escalated into high-sounding reason when thrown up against a seemingly hostile and unfulfilling natural world. The West is a vast testimony to childhood botched to serve its own purposes, where history, masquerading as myth, authorizes men of action to alter the world to match their regressive moods of omnipotence and insecurity.
The modern West selectively perpetuates these psychopathic elements. In the captivity and enslavement of plants and animals and the humanization of the landscape itself is the diminishment of the Other, against which people must define themselves, a diminishment revealing schizoid confusion in self-identity. From the epoch of Judeo-Christian emergence is an abiding hostility to the natural world, characteristically fearful and paranoid. The sixteenth-century fixation on the impurity of the body and the comparative tidiness of the machine are strongly obsessive-compulsive. These all persist and interact in a tapestry of chronic madness in the industrial present, countered by dreams of absolute control and infinite possession."
--Paul Shepard, "Nature and Madness"
I can only make these remarks regarding where I live in Maine, on of the poorest counties in New England, but back in the 1970's a person around here working a blue collar job could make $7 an hour. (Don't laugh). Today a person around here working a blue collar job might make $14 an hour. (Really don't laugh). That seems great, a double in income, but back in the 1970's you could buy a house with a water view of the ocean for $6500. (Six thousand and five hundred dollars in case people think I missed a decimal point and some zeros). Today you would pay $280,000, so the rate of income just has not kept up in proportion. That is just the cost of a house. Cars are so out of proportion to people's average income the car companies had to come up with a whole new way to finance them...called leases, and that says nothing about financing cars up to 7 years, long past the previous 5 year max back in the 1990's. Phone, electricity, etc has all gone up as well.
You get my point.
Life is so expensive today that kids simply cannot leave the nest even if they wanted too. Now I say that because most don't want to anyway. With today's younger generation feeling a sense of entitlement, they seem less than motivated to leave.
My brother is a case in point. He is married, is 30 years old, has a 3 year old baby, and lives with my parents and has for 1-1/2 years. I have a house he could move into rent free, but it is not new so he does not want to live there. He had a trailer home (not an RV but a 14 x 70 trailer house) given to them that was in decent shape, with the stipulation that they would have to pay $1500 to move it...again to my land which had well, septic, electric and phone, and would be rent free. A free house...no it was not new so they did not want it. They did chose a $180,000 new double wide and was belligerent when they could not move it next to my parents house so they could use their power, phone, septic and well and still be financed by the Veterans Administration. We told them about a nice log cabin just down the road that is gorgeous inside, for $130,000. Nope...it is not new. They may be unique in that they have had some really good housing opportunities, but chose not to take people up on them. Instead they prefer to freeload off my parents and are quite content.
Me...I had my 19th birthday, and while people were still chomping on my birthday cake, I started packing up my stuff and was going to move into my new house. People laughed, it was a Tiny House before tiny houses were vogue, but no one could say I freeloaded from my parents.
I'm not sure if I quite go with the idea that life is somehow more expensive, outside of buying property. I drive a perfectly suitable car that I paid $600 for. That's two days pay. The cost of food and many other items are artificially low, as a means of pacifying the population. I don't go in for pharmaceuticals. I don't even go in for haircuts. The only items I ever splurge on are nice tools, and my customer pay for those.
I think the real thing that has changed is expectations. When I was 18, I didn't expect to have a communications item in my pocket all the time. I didn't have a computer. I didn't have a credit card. It wasn't possible for me to go to a restaurant at 3 a.m.
My youngest daughter finished University last year. If she was to move to her own apartment here, she could still save half of her income. I suspect that when she gets back from England, where she is currently working as a teacher, that she will move in with her mother and pay a few hundred dollars a month. It should then be possible for her to save two-thirds of her income. She did that when she was a high school student working for peanuts. The cost of necessities are not beyond the financial reach of most people who have found a way to fit into the economy. It's the cost of all that extra stuff, and the interest payments on that stuff, if people are foolish enough to buy it on credit.
I too bare such guilt and know that the blame lies within myself rather than blame others