The youth of today in my opinion are different from previous generations in a positive way. Some say they are social media obsessed and that life is easy for them because of the availability of technology. This may be true for some but definitely not true for others.
I have a lot of interaction with young people both face to face and on social media. I am very impressed by the young people I have spoken to. They are caring, intelligent and socially aware. Young people nowadays seem to see both the bright side and the dark side of life. They are not afraid to challenge the supposed wisdom of the previous generations. They are realistic in what can be achieved. Young people do not aim to overthrow the opinions of their elders they aim to enrich established thinking.
I do not think we will ever see the younger generation in ‘flower power’ mode. Young people use social media and develop technology to express themselves and to influence politicians and society.
In Ireland last year we had a referendum on gay rights. The referendum was about should gay people be entitled to the same marriage rights as straight people. The debate turned dirty very quickly. Those who claimed to uphold God`s law displayed hate toward gay people. I speak diplomatically when I say the behaviour of these people was less than Christian. Gay people decided not to take this negative attitude toward them lying down. Gay people argued with biased campaigners outside their own homes in housing estates who were distributing leaflets with very negative attitudes toward gay people. There were many Irish people that were not gay but wanted equal rights for all. It became an equality issue, everyone should have equal rights. People began to panic, yes panic because people felt that strongly about the referendum, when both sides were neck and neck. Both sides had an equal chance of winning. The debates, even the debates on national television, became even more abusive.
Then an incredible reaction to the bigotry occurred. Young people flew in from their homes abroad and voted, in their thousands. They did not march, they did not riot. They canvassed and they voted. I was so moved that young people were so determined to have equality in Ireland. They voted in their thousands and swung the vote in favour of marriage rights for gay people. Young people changed Irish society forever in a positive way.
In social media I have a lot of followers that are young people. They are sensitive and intelligent yet practical in their approach to life. I am sure that young people will eventually make the world a better place. Young people need to listen to older people`s wisdom but we also need to listen to what young people say.