Apathetic Teens Need a Wake Up Call

June 9, 2010
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Our generation has adapted to luxury; a world where iPhones and Blackberrys have become the norm, in a world where some teens no longer appreciate, but expect brand names. Concurrently, however, there are children starving in Nicaragua. There are wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that are tearing families apart; civil warfare in Africa has brought damage that is virtually irreversible. Guantanamo Bay is filled with terrorist suspects who have yet to be tried. Our environment is deteriorating by the second. Regardless of the remarkable anguish our world is enduring, breaking news seems to be swept under the rug.

“I definitely think kids should be more into what’s going on in the world,” said Junior Lorena Melcher. “But which do you see more of at the mall or grocery store? Tabloids and magazines or newspapers? The tabloids are just more convenient for us.”

Though each day brings change politically and governmentally, the media tends to devote more attention toward frivolous scandals. Most teens, and adults for that matter, could give an explicit report on Kanye West’s encounter with Taylor Swift, but few could name Virginia’s newly elected Governor Bob McDonnell’s plans for the state.

“Today's youth has come to expect bad things from the government and when scandal or corruption arise many just accept it with a shrug of their shoulders,” student advocate and leader Anna Robinson-Sweet told NewsHour. “The government only promotes this apathetic behavior…We are a critical and large mass that can change the world and we need to become aware of our own potential because if our apathy continues we will find ourselves completely silenced.”

The decisions being made today will have far-reaching effects. As a citizen, it is crucial to be informed and to read past the entertainment section. Awareness should be expected of teens, and getting involved should be considered a privilege rather than a task. It only takes a few minutes to pick up a newspaper and discover the ongoing of the world.

While political and world news is not directed specifically at students that does not excuse oblivion. It’s true that as minors, voting for political elections is a few years away. Still, checking a candidate’s name is hardly the only way to voice an opinion.

“I think it is important to know what’s going on in the world,” said Junior Zach Thomason. So when it’s our turn to run the nation, we’ll be able to look back on these events and be able to come up with a solution.”

After all, how can the people prevent history from repeating itself if they do not know where they have already been? There is no such thing as blissful ignorance, and no amount of extravagance can change that.

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