Are Teenagers the Dumbest Generation Ever?

Topics: Generation Y, Education, Standardized test Pages: 8 (3117 words) Published: May 1, 2012
Paradoxically, the only thing that is truly constant is the concept of change. This notion generally tends to apply itself to every possible idea, whether tangible or abstract, and continuously evokes the question of whose moral standpoint, whether based on intellect, or on intuition, is truly correct. Similarly, it is clear that in today’s era time’s law of change has created a schism between two generations with polar personal influences, ideologies, foundations for principles, and moral standpoints so substantial that it induces controversy, and a sense of apprehension as one tries to compensate for the misdemeanors of the other. A schism of such magnitude between two generations forced to live together has inevitably brought about the butting of heads, most scandalously through the pervasive media that reaches everyone who is in direct contact with immediate society. Dr. Mark Bauerlein, author of The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future; Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30 and professor at Emory University, kindles the flame that is the battle between generations; however, it is vital to consider that the fire had already been there, and Bauerlein, a strict believer in one of the opposing sides, had fed the fire gasoline. Of course, with tendentious media such as this, society is forced to respond; who is in the right? Who is left to blame? Does Bauerlein perhaps make a valid point, or is he entirely mistaken in his judgement of a technology-controlled generation? Is it presumptuous to assume that this preoccupation with social medias can be construed as stupidity, or is it entirely valid in its claim that teenagers have lost the susceptibility and ravenousness for knowledge that had been present in generations that preceded them? It is a heavily biased discussion often based on generalization, where both sides need a prospect for thorough review to be able to make a point that upholds validity, not just from opinion, but from fact. Bauerlein’s book elicited an uproarious response from the public, thus we are able to observe and analyze a contentious argument for either side, both of whom present valid points.

Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason, claims, "The scales of American history have shifted heavily against the intellectual life so essential to functional democracy." Like Jacoby, many intellectuals of the previous generation share the paralyzing trepidation that perhaps this new concentration of leaders and lost the provocative taste for learning and cultural strive like that of their predecessors, labeling superficial concepts like popular culture “vacuous” and “disturbing,” as well as using them as a definitive label of the generation that takes part in such a nondescript and mercurial part of society. Now there is a point to consider. How can one definitively label such a thing as popular culture? Generally, the concept is regarded as something that, by nature, is vacuous. It holds no validity in society other than its possibility to provide a certain juncture of mindless recreation. One must contemplate the feasibility of such a popular culture, especially among the younger generation; popular culture often provides an escape from the hardships of life. Teenagers today are among the most stressed that they have been for years, and, as a source of relief, they turn to asinine behavioral patterns to relieve the tension; albeit, the reliever acts as more of a numbing sensation rather than reliever, but a coping method nonetheless. Popular culture is also among one of the most capricious factors in society, for what is popular today, may just be a completely irrelevant part of society the very next day. Like all adolescents, the particular concentrated group in question possess tendencies towards fallacious behavior that may give off the impression of unintelligence, or recalcitrant characteristics, but, in reality, are simply mistakes that...

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Visual Source
"Dumb Down Cartoons and Comics." CartoonStock. Web. 12 Mar. 2012.
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