Addicted to the Media, and Proud of It

Adam Lis, Culture Conglomeration

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Do you ever wonder who the most influential people of today’s youth are? If so, you are not alone. I ask myself and others this question all of the time. Why are we so driven by technology? Why is there nothing but garbage on TV these days? We have to at least be thankful the Paris Hilton era is dead and gone. Continuing on this route and hopefully not running off into a tangent, I will focus on the big picture and see the future of the U.S. under great despair. I hope I’m not the only one who feels that the youth of today need to have a broader understanding of who and what is “important” or influential to their existence. To throw it right out in the open early and clearly, this is not a “boohoo I think the world sucks” article. I am just stating an observation. For starters, networking media has taken over. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter control the internet and people; even in a college setting many claim not to have enough time to read the paper or, God forbid, a book.

Looking at the top 10 most followed, as portrayed by Twitter Counter, individuals using Twitter show us what they find valuable in today’s society. The number one most followed individual on Twitter is Lady Gaga. Yes, sure we can say she fights for equal rights and she heavily supports the LGBTQ community, but if I tried talking to someone about Harvey Milk I’d be looked at as if I had six heads. Who is that? Why should I care about him? Considering he was the first openly gay politician, you would think he might get a bit more respect. According to GSA Network, Milk was on the San Francisco board of supervisors in the 70s when gay rights were not recognition nearly as much as they are now. He served almost 11 months in office and was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city. On November 27, 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White.

The tenth most followed individual on Twitter is Kim Kardashian, yet CNN News is number 34 and the New York Times is number 72. We care too much about celebrities and what they are doing rather than focusing on the problems at hand like the economy or the presidential election.

Teen angst has always been around. The movie “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” hit select theaters on September 21 and gave the indie non-conventional crowd a movie to feel with and empathize with, however you throw the name J.D. Salinger out and nobody knows who you are talking about. The post-adolescent transition into young adulthood, anger and longing for a sense-of-belonging phase got its calling from Salinger—the author of, arguably, one of the most influential books in a young adult’s life: “The Catcher in the Rye.” Along with Salinger, the infamous Holden Caulfield is no longer at the tip of the iceberg.

To sum it all up, we need to look at the big picture in the world today. We can no longer focus on individuals who are famous for being famous. This phase of house music and party rocking to a dub-step drug induced comatose state of feeling, like no one gets us and we no longer want to conform to an idea that getting “white girl wasted” on the weekend to subdue our hatred for classes and sheer boredom of a small town feel. The truth is that this world needs a wake-up call. There is still a “Holy War” in Israel and people still go hungry every day. As suggested by the Clean Air Council, the average American office worker uses about 500 disposable cups every year, or throws away enough paper and plastic cups, forks and spoons to circle the equator 300 times—yet war, world hunger or environmental issues is not a concern in the minds of most young adults.

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