Every generation looks slightly different. From Baby Boomers, Millennials, to Generation Z, while there may be some similarities, no one generation is the same. As we are in a time where social media and influencers are at the forefront of many people’s lives for entertainment, and still in a national pandemic, some may feel that it has caused a drastic change in high school students. One, in particular, is a high school teacher from Bakersfield, California.
calJeremy explained several reasons: his students were able to identify celebrities successfully, Kendall Jenner and Miley Cyrus but not policymakers like former Vice President Mike Pence or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Jeremy says today’s youngsters are “barren of the behavior, values, and hopes, from which human beings have traditionally found higher meaning … or even simple contentment.”
In his book, “Hollowed Out: A Warning About America’s Next Generation,” he further shares why he feels this way about Gen Z. The National Teacher of the Year nominee stated that this generation is hyperconnected to technology but are detached from important people like their families, churches, or communities. Several studies have shown that social media has been linked to depression, as some younger users have struggled with comparing themselves to others.
Suicide has become the second leading cause of death for this generation, and depression rates rose 63 percent from 2007- 2017 while teen suicide rates grew 56 percent. While the report continued, Jeremy brought up how family life has taken a toll on Gen Z due to decreasing marriage rates and traditional two-parent homes. “The neglect of family life is one of the greatest causes of the hollowing out not only of students but of American life,” he says.
As the report ended, Jeremy opened up about what the future may look like for Gen Z and predicted today’s young people would be unprepared for the future. A statement that he backs up by studies showing that Gen Z students have an 8-second attention span, which results in “lower grades, diminished ability to concentrate, and stunted academic achievement.”
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