Indifference haunts current generation


Mary Helen Schwartz, The Bucknellian

Sara Blair Matthews
Opinions Editor

I frequently hear that our generation has the shortest attention span. Although I would love to deny this, I’m starting to believe there is some truth to this claim. From cheating, to the ups and downs of the entertainment business, to all the new forms of Facebook, it seems like our generation is plagued by a perpetually short capacity to concentrate.

Let’s start off with relationships. It is hard to ignore all the headlines involving some form of cheating that seem to be consuming the media today. The Kristen Stewart/Rob Pattinson fiasco is likely the one that comes to mind as of late. Yes, it’s horrible she cheated on the vampire dreamboat with a married father of two who is nearly double her age, but I’m more interested in why.

Why is it that she and so many other men and women alike lose interest in their relationships and feel the need to cheat? In my opinion, it all goes back to society’s short attention span. It seems we have a constant need to move on to the next bigger and better thing. Our lives are becoming more and more like races, where finishing second, third or even fourth place is seen as unacceptable.

Also, do you ever get annoyed with Facebook’s constant change of format? I do. It seems like they are changing up the layout, privacy settings or notification process every week. Every time I get used to the new format, it changes. I’ve learned to never get to attached to any particular setting because I know it will change whether I’m ready for it or not.

I’m aware that I just spent five sentences lamenting about Facebook’s frivolity, but if I’m willing to give up trying to appreciate Facebook’s functionality, what will I give up on next? Will I give up reading actual books because I know they will die out eventually? Will I give up watching a TV series because it requires my attention for one hour each week? Will I stop following the proposed tenants of our country’s health care plan because they change too often? Not likely, but it seems like society is slowly ceasing to foster an environment where people can grow to care about its components because they are always changing.

Maybe all the changes on Facebook or the rise of cheating in relationships is not just the creator the partaker’s fault, but rather we are to blame for accepting their outcomes as if we were drones. Our stand does not need to occur overnight, but I think it can be strengthened in small victories.

Sit still for an hour every now and then to read a book or watch a movie. Go a whole class or meeting without checking your phone or Facebook and see what happens. Perhaps you’ll retain the material better, and be more well-rounded in all the facets of your life.

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