If you watch their body language and facial expressions it'll tell you a different story
You are the first person I’ve heard identify the root cause of what’s really happening here; something that finally makes sense of it all. It’s really sad to think that this generation is so lonely they have to go to such lengths for a sense of belonging. I was one of those that just rolled my eyes. Now my heart breaks for them.
Great article, but I think that you need to go one step deeper: the cause of the loneliness. It is not just lack of social interaction.
I would recommend doing research on Cluster B mental disorders and their relationship with political ideologies. It is eye-opening.
You phrased it much more politely than I would have.
The current en vogue nature of trans and its aligned new spectrum of identities is just performative victim/virtue signalling. They are just so desperate to be seen as special without actually doing anything worthy. Plus, it shields them from being seen as the dreaded oppressor class, which is why it manifests itself almost entirely amongst the white middle class adolescents and their enablers. It's a new take on the old marxist recruiting of "I hate my father" along with Maoist struggle sessions and in-group signalling. And being marxist derived, there's no dissent allowed.
I am making my way through a paper on transhumanism written by a doctor and published in a philosophy/medical journal in 2010. It is way over my head as it uses the work of Heidegger as a launching point. The gist of it is that transhumanists want to use technology to create the post-human by transcending the constraints of biology. Instead of evolution happening to us, evolution is to be what humans do - to direct it. While seemingly fringe theories in the early 2000s, we see the imprints everywhere. Fifty years ago if someone was prancing about believing they were a cat, they would be under psychiatric care. Now they receive likes on TikTok for their bravery. Trying to be the creator of one's own reality, reveals it is an empty and hollow place.
“leftist ideology which projects that something is wrong with society and not them”. Bingo! Give the man a cigar. This is a very succinct summary of what is happening for some of our youth. It’s very sad.
Check out Josh Slocum's Disaffected Newsletter.
Part of the "advantage" of being on the "right" is that so many of us don't fit the allowed "intersectional" victim groups. We have some, but we also have others that make us the "enemy." Adding "military" is a big one, I've found.
Yes, this is what I say: Hit the mute button.
Do not be distracted by what activists and influencers say. Their behaviors betray their real intentions. The words are merely social camouflage that enables them to do what they really want to do.
very insightful. however the core problem ... our shared core problem , as it were, is that the ideology calling to them is something like psychopathic marxism for the nihilistic.
whether they come to this as a democrat, a dragon, or a disaffected student, the ideological replaces individual agency.
This is enlightening. It explains something I’ve been concerned about with lesbian friends and acquaintances. Five years ago things were normal. Now, I sense an uncertainty, as if they are now strangers who know they won’t be accepted. Like these young people, it’s a move away from the general community. Isn’t this how you know you are in an abusive relationship (or a cult)...when your abuser separates you from loved ones and others by disparaging them or lying about how those others feel about you? Then you are isolated and under the abuser’s full control. Maybe the next step for the kidnapper of your self-esteem is to turn you into Patty Hearst, a soldier for the cause.
For those of us over 40, I often wonder what my 14 year old self would have become had I been immersed in the online world. Think of who you were then, your challenges and the ways you sought to find your place. Some empathy is most certainly required,but more than anything right now, is honesty and truth. That we sit back and watch this pathology play out everyday around us en masse is diabolical. I don’t fear war, climate change or some other catastrophe, but I do fear the citizens we are creating that will have zero means to deal with the future.
Thanks for this, Adam. For me, social media represents the final destination of our individual and collective estrangement in all ways: spiritual, social, emotional, and -- finally, per your keen observations -- physical. In that order.
Like any addiction to any other narcotic, our meta-addiction to all things digital and all things media (including social media, of course) begins as spiritual estrangement and detachment...then flows downstream as a toxic tributary to pollute the social and emotional waters it encounters en route. Our physical selves are like the reservoir fed by the estrangement watershed -- where all of the toxins collected along the way are emptied.
What we see and hear on TikTok and elsewhere in the media ecosphere is what happens when spiritual, social, emotional, and -- finally -- physical estrangement finds a host who surrenders everything to it.
This reflects so much of my own experience. I was weird and timid and spent a lot of time trying to fit in but ultimately always being on the outside of every peer group I tried entering. It left me lost and without any solid relationships. I questioned my identity, my purpose, my sexuality - I had no bearing and mostly negative feedback. I was very good at being independent but my social skills suffered.
Even the rigor and discipline of the military didn't complete me or repair the damage - though it gave me the foundation.
It took me many years of self reflection and self-care to find my way out of the depression; I had to force myself to grow up and shed the need to belong.
I'm now happily married and have a (small) group of peers and friends that I have good relationships with - though I'm perfectly ok doing my own thing.
I see what these people are going through and my heart yerns to help them find their path through it. I just don't know how.
I don't have a savior complex, I have my own life to manage, and I am terrible at planning or social organization. But I think perhaps I am at another crossroads of growth.
We need to open our hearts and minds and find a way to reach them. We need to dismantle the facade that's been erected.
We need to show them compassionate tough love and personal responsibility. We need to give them a better community where they would want to belong.
I read the title to your piece but didn't have time to read it until today. The title says it all. I went to the store last night and saw a young person working there. They had the voice of a girl, was wearing nail polish (black) and seem depressed at best. The name tag said Miles. I'm not sure what imagine they were trying to share but as you pointed out, they are in that young age group and appeared to be lonely. It may seem to simplistic, but our nation is now a nation over run with mental health issues. From mass shooters, to people identifying as cats; and we the people, don't know how to deal with this. There are probably more internet groups out there that encourage the dysfunctional behavior than there are that offer solutions to this health crisis. We can discuss and search for root causes all day, but what can we do to provide sustainable solutions to this issue? How do we prevent people from manipulating those who truly need assistance?
Compassionate and wise. Well done.
Jordan Peterson's closing remarks at his ARC conference were on this topic. Said we find meaning in our lives through service. To yourself (make your bed), friends, spouse, children, community, etc.
I believed some crazy things when I was young. What I find interesting is: Had you challenged them, I would have gotten upset.
But underneath, at a more basic than conscious level, I knew they were not true--even as I believed them.
I think these young people might be similar.