This is a special three-part series on six leading family trends that every friend of the family should be mindful of. We give a brief explanation of the importance of each for the family and the future. (See Part 1 / Part 2)
- The Dumbing Down and Depression of Our Youth Through Social Media
Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University has been conducting phenomenal but disturbing research on what social media is doing to our young people. She demonstrates how dramatically it is dumbing down our children and leaving them depressed and hopeless.
She has written, “Major depression (clinical-level depression that requires treatment) doubled between 2011 and 2019 among American teens. It then continued increasing into 2020 for girls.” (emphasis added)
The Institute for Family Studies reports Twenge found the share of teens who went on dates has fallen by almost 30 percentage points in recent years and that the number of times teens hang out with friends fell by about 20% from 2007 to 2015. “As long as teens are scrolling through Instagram more, and hanging in person with their friends less, depression is likely to remain at historically high levels,” explained Twenge.
University of Virginia sociologist Brad Wilcox explains, “A mounting body of evidence suggests that social media contributes to the skyrocketing rates of anxiety and depression among teens.” This is such a dramatic problem that he contends “It’s time to treat big tech like big tobacco.”
A mounting body of evidence indicates that Big Tech is heavily implicated in the skyrocketing psychological problems of our nation’s adolescents. One recent study found that teens who devote more than eight hours a day to screen time were about twice as likely to be depressed as their peers who were on screens less often than that.
Additionally, authors of a brand new study published in the journal Comprehensive Psychiatry explain “that rates of teen and adolescent depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation have risen precipitously since the advent of social media and smartphones is likely no coincidence.”
But they add this is leading to a new phenomenon they refer to as “Performative Mental Illness.” Such youth “appear to incorporate their perceived illness into their self-identity and glamorize it within their communities.”
These scholars note, “The origins of this mental-illness-as-identity phenomenon can be traced to other social media platforms that were popular before the emergence of TikTok, such as Tumblr and Instagram.”
Thus unfortunately, “symptoms may become exaggerated as individuals become socially incentivized to signal their disorder identity to others.”
This incentive to play-act new identities flows into our last concerning family trend.
2. Death of Reality – Pretend Identities
Not long ago, the defense for new sexualities and identities was “I was born this way.” Not anymore. Now, one’s imagination and a sincere claim are all that is needed to authenticate one’s persona.
Of course, so-called “transgender” identity has been the main manifestation of this. It is not a medical term, but an ideological one.
Want to increase your winnings as a swimmer? Just claim being a woman is your “authentic self” and your competition gets exponentially easier. And culture furiously defends your right to do so, shaming anyone who questions your claim.
Joe Biden hosted the second most famous “trans” person in the world in the White House recently. But this adult man, Dylan Mulvaney, is simply living out an imaginative fantasy.
He does not even claim to be a woman, but a “girl” and he records daily installments of his pretend life. Here and here are just two examples of Dylan demonstrating his unmistakable unseriousness. Not convinced? Here you go. This man is so dramatically pretend that the first most famous “trans” person in the world famously took him to task for being “absurd.”
And there are Furries who “are people who have an active interest in animal characters with human characteristics. These characters are often created by the community members themselves, who take them on as a ‘fursona’ (an alternate persona) who interacts with other ‘fursonas’ in the community via roleplaying and art.” The Archives of Sexual Behavior explains furries can also take on a sexual nature.
Also consider the emergence of neopronouns and xenopronouns. The New York Times explains neopronouns reflect one’s identity as “a person, place or thing.” These have been developed because just as anyone can change sexes, one can also change species or reality itself. The Times explains with all seriousness,
Noun-self pronouns can refer to animals — so your pronouns can be “bun/bunself” and “kitten/kittenself.” Others refer to fantasy characters — “vamp/vampself,” “prin/cess/princesself,” “fae/faer/faeself” — or even just common slang, like “Innit/Innits/Innitself.”
It gets even crazier with xenopronouns, which are described as “a type of hypothetical neopronouns that cannot be understood by humans and/or expressed through human language.” Of course, the fact that they cannot be understood by anyone else makes the individual claiming them extra special.
These include nonsense terms like Xe/xyr, Ze/zyr or literally anything else anyone can make up as demonstrated here and here. When you are encouraged to create new realities as a demonstration of individuality, the crazy mounts quickly. And it has.
This is also spilling over into newly unexpected quarters.
Congressman George Santos, (R-NY) was elected to office creating his own imaginary reality that fits who he wishes to be, regardless of reality, as explained persuasively by Bill Maher on HBO just days ago.
Important Subpoint: The fact that identities can now be created imaginatively at will has brought passionate disagreement within the so-called “LGBTQ community.” The first three letters are inherently binary – SSA men and women are clear on the objective difference of male and female and are not keen on pretenders after all – while the last two letters seek to obliterate the binary. This passionate disagreement over the fundamentally important truth of what it means to be male and female is presently tearing this supposed “community” asunder, which is amply demonstrated in social media.
Photo from Shutterstock.