I want to talk not about the socio-economic phenomenon of the aging of mankind. Yes, it is well-known fact that the average life expectancy in the 1950s was 46 years, however, it has now increased by 23 years and is already 69 years old. This article is also not about the young old people, who after 50 are only at the beginning of their journey. I want to talk about old people in young bodies.
But now there are no lads and lasses, — enervated old men and women in their teens walk the world wearily, speculating on the uses of life, — probing vice, and sneering down sentiment, and such innocent diversions as the Maypole no longer appeal to our jaded youth.
In recent years, numerous studies have been conducted that attempted to explain behavior, political bias, faith and other characteristics of the Generation Y. Although many people like to give out data that is more likely to be their own beliefs, results often contradict each other. According to one data, Generation Y is cynical and consumption-oriented, on the other quite the contrary. Some argue that Y people have defragmented attention, problems with communication and creativity; however other studies deny that. Facts only say that today it is difficult to unequivocally determine the relationship of young people to life, work, and love. The emergence and progression of shared economy are only the results of profound and lasting changes in the psychology of the thinking of the new generation. In fact, the essence of change can be deeper and covered in more fundamental things. I tried to consider three areas: impact of stress, socialization conjuncture, and ideological changes.
In the course of research on the impact of stress on the human body, it turned out that the human brain is not biologically adapted to withstand prolonged psycho-emotional overload. The natural reaction of the body that once helped humans to survive as a biological species, in the realities of the modern world only harms. It would seem that when faced with stressful situations from early childhood, the body will adapt and train to resist the negative consequences of stress. Yet, prolonged stress causes only depression that negatively affects not only the cognitive functions of a person but also interferes with the natural capacity of the brain for improvisation.
The fact is that the rapid development of technological processes does not entail rational changes in the social sphere. On the younger generation, there is colossal pressure coming from all sides: beginning with the expectations of parents, teachers, employers and ending with their own peers. Any pressure causes internal resistance, but for an immature organism, it is sometimes very difficult to predict the resistance vector.
According to the World Health Organization, in the world today there are almost 500 million people suffering from mental disorders. More fears are caused not only by the fact of the growth of this figure but also by the widespread increase in aggression and apathy among children and adolescents. Due to differences in economic, geographical, demographic and genetic backgrounds, it is very difficult to realize the full extent of the impact of stress, as such, on a person. However, it is clear that every new generation faces new scales of challenges.
Here I would like to touch on two topics: the process of information transfer, the process of human learning and general changes in people’s communication.
Initially, the only possible way of transferring information was by direct contact with the information carrier. A person is genetically arranged to perceive information through all possible channels: verbal and nonverbal cues, a direct picture — sight, smell, touch and a lot of internal psychological aspects; all this helps to form a complete picture and allows more efficient transfer or assimilation of information. Yes, you can learn from records and books, and with the development of technology, we were able to transmit information through audio and video channels. However, till now the most effective method of information transmission is only through live communication. Micro and macro changes in behavior, motor skills, and even voice intonation somehow allow people to more efficiently exchange information. The younger generation deepens in the methods of obtaining and transmitting information, which help to distance themselves from live communication. As a result, in general, the Generation Y has more extensive, but less profound knowledge. The information appears and becomes obsolete so quickly that in the eternal pursuit of updates, cause emotional burnout. The percentage of registered cases is growing from year to year, but sadly, more and more of young people are becoming affected by this syndrome.
And, finally, we turn to large-scale ideological changes. The absolute task of any cell is the transfer of its genes to other cells. However, people are more complex beings, and therefore no one has a universal answer to the question of the meaning of life. Only in the last century, a large number of attempts were made to implement various ideas: socialism, communism, some, well, as always, sought anarchy. We began to experiment with such concepts as a basic income. More and more research on the topic of technocracy has appeared. Some companies began to apply holacracy instead of bureaucracy.
With the growth of life expectancy, many social aspects began to change. We began to think more about nature, about our influence on it and ways of protection and restoration. We began to pay more attention to inequality and discrimination. We are still trying to find the right balance in solving these problems, but the vector has already been established. The idea behind capitalism lies in the simple concept: to live well now. The further we get, the faster becomes money; fame becomes more affordable. All this psychologically changes people, we start suffering from intolerance, and cognitive dissonance if it is not possible to achieve positive changes quickly.
The thing is that the current generation stands at the junction of the way of thinking of the previous generation and the new one that has not yet formed. That’s why walking along the streets you are seeing as if tired of a life, young olds. However, deep inside, it is only a natural attempt in trying to understand ourselves and understand a bit more of our place in the ever-changing world.
Originally published at medium.com