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Upon reading ďGeneration XĒ and viewing our society as a whole, it is apparent that generation x is different in multiple aspects of that from past generations. Two significant characteristics that come to the surface are: relationships and unique personalities that are different from that of the norm. It seems that our youth in society today has gone many different directions with style and personality. It may be a good thing or such may not be so good. Regardless one is to believe that our youth in society is nothing from past generations.
Nothing is more important to todayís youth than relationships. Young people live in a world that is increasingly absent of dependable relationships. They have grown up as children of divorce, starved for closeness and understanding as the family has weakened. Abusive, neglectful, busy, absent, non-emotional and working parents have no time for relationships. Because todayís young people have been deprived of closeness they value it more highly. They value relationships the most, even though they do not have the skills and ability to have true and meaningful relationships.
The concept of the "latchkey kid" is one that was defined for this generation. This is a generation that has arrived home to an empty house, with both mom and dad working, or a single parent home where the remaining parent has to work to survive. Often, especially in the latter situation, the young person has been forced to take on part-time employment as well. This is also the generation that has spent every other weekend at their other parentís home, and has seen many different family relationships, such as "dadís girlfriend", "momís previous ex-husband", "my second step-father", or "my step-brotherís fatherís ex-wife". This has caused young people to be skeptical of relationships, yet still feel the need to fill the void with something else. Friends and peers become replacement families, as a small number of dependable relationships are valued highly.
Many of the characteristics arise out of this one. They will do anything to get loved, but they donít know how to love properly. This affects how they behave, as they will do anything to be loved. They have become more sexually active to get love and closeness, but just end up getting used, and therefore lonelier than they were before. They are a visual generation, with TV, video, computer games, etc., yet, although sophisticated, do not know how to talk or communicate their feelings. They do not know how to have the very thing they want the most: a relationship. This causes problems resulting from a behavior that leads to bad relationships that leads to bad behavior, and so on. Their best attempts leave them empty and lonely, and loneliness is the thing they fear the most. They are desperate for relationship, even if they can only have it for a little while.
Due to divorce, neglect, broken and bad relationships and abuse this generation carries emotional pain. They feel like they are victims, and they act like it. This generation has a reputation of being whiners and slackers. They have self-destructive deeds, but under the deed there is a need Ė the need is a need to remove the pain. The deeds are worse than previous generations, because the needs are much deeper. They will do anything for a few minutes of relief: alcohol, drugs, sex, turning music up, smoking, and many other things are being used as relief agents. They donít see a cure so they go for the painkiller. The problem is that these "painkillers" often bring a whole new set of problems.
Due to their pain, this generation is characterized by anger which is sitting very near the surface. It does not take todayís young people long to be pushed over the edge, where they show meanness and verbal cruelty towards each other. Todayís young people are exceptionally cruel to each other. They are also physically cruel, with the extreme cases leading to recent stories of guns at school, school shootings and beatings and many more violent deaths at school than ever before.
As a result of the pain and anger, hardness comes a lot sooner for todayís young people. They are cynical and often express deep bitterness. This hardness often comes
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Demographics, Generation Z, Generation X, Generation, StraussHowe generational theory, Nicomachean Ethics
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