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Cold-Hearted Youth This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Laughter is a great thing. It has been proven to be physically and mentally therapeutic – in fact, the average person does it 17 times a day. Nothing could be wrong with laughter, right? On the contrary, laughter can be bad, and is increasingly becoming so. The reason for this is that people are laughing at the wrong things. Our society – particularly the youth – is creating an epidemic of cruel amusement. We find humor in things that people wouldn't have generally found funny in the past. More and more, kids respond to negative situations with laughter. Of course it's natural to turn to uneasy laughter when you're uncomfortable; laughing literally relieves stress. But it seems that we adolescents can no longer differentiate between the appropriate time to laugh versus when to be concerned. I frequently ask myself: why are my friends laughing at this? Kids' responses to negative situations are becoming increasingly disturbing, and this needs to be addressed.

Search online for videos of recreational accidents. You'll find hundreds of clips showing people falling off of things or getting hurt so badly that they break bones or sustain major injuries. Unfortunately, before their friends rush to their aid or call an ambulance, they double over in laughter.

To make matters worse, my fellow teens are disturbingly flippant not just about physical accidents; they are also failing to take important topics seriously, such as the government or the state of our world. Children and teens nowadays show alarming indifference and insensitivity toward things that should arouse serious thought and emotion. I believe youth are laughing at serious subjects because important topics don't matter to them anymore. The sad things is, it's not their fault.

Teaching youth that violence is okay and entertaining, or teaching them that the state of our world is not a big deal is stripping them of the natural inclination to be caring and concerned. We are the next generation, and we're not going to be able to contribute to the world if important issues do not matter to us anymore. How can we help others when we don't take their physical or emotional pain seriously?

As a whole, society needs to concentrate on reintroducing natural human emotion and easing up on the endorsement of indifference, violence, and carelessness. We need to stop shrugging things off or laughing at them, or this vicious trend will continue. We are humans, not cold machines, and we need to start acting that way.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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rheame said...
Dec. 3, 2013 at 6:03 am
i think you are absolutely right! but its not all the teens or youth who act this way
 
Catherine2564 said...
Jan. 3, 2013 at 9:25 pm
I totally agree!  In addition to finding violence and serious issues humorus, I also think more kids are laughing at people and their differences which is also not right.
 
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