The Misguided Generation has Spoken | Part 1

November 20, 2017 in Articles, Motivational - 13 min read

We live in a strange era – a time where literally everything happens at once and in such a ridiculously fast pace. This alone makes it tricky for one to know what they should be doing and what they shouldn’t focus much on. 

So, I set off to get people’s opinions on a topic that I am always debating on with myself – the topic on whether we are misguided or not. This came from the realisation that we are failing when it comes to self-love, we are depressed but in denial about it because our parents take it as ‘attention seeking’. For most people, their only kind of fun is partying/getting intoxicated, we hype up meaningless songs/music and on social media we hype up those who take nice selfies but aren’t doing much with their lives.

We still cannot do things right in relationships, we don’t know what career to go for and we are demotivated by unemployment. We are refusing to question what we have been taught on how to ‘live our lives’. So the question is, whose fault it is? Will our mindsets ever be fixed? Who or what is influencing is? When will we ever ‘grow’ up?

Amanda MI won’t lie we are misguided and I definitely consider us the lost generation. It kind of is our fault, I mean considering the fact that we know where we come from but when we go out there we don’t know where we’re going, we lose our sense of direction so easily because we’re concerned about other shit and we are too weak-willed and easily influenced. See, the thing is, as much as we are the lost generation we are the most powerful generation to ever exist (I feel) so yes, we are capable of changing our mindsets because to be honest we have a whole lot of potential but we are lazy. We rely on social media and apps to get shit done, without apps and all the gadgetry shit we’re lost (I also feel) the people we look up to are influencing us in a way. I feel as though we will grow up but it will take a lot for us to grow up.

AsandeOur mindsets aren’t going to change anytime soon because we’re still under our parents control and in as much as we think we can make decisions based on our thoughts we are lying to ourselves. It all depends on what our parents think. 

It’s our fault though because we haven’t been able to stand up to our parents. Although it’s disrespectful it needs to be done so that we’re understood more. 

The issue on depression is really just based on our thoughts and seeing other people succeed, not knowing what they have been through and it’s also based on not dealing with issues earlier in life damages us more than anything. Living on social media can fuck you over so bad because you end up just focusing on other people’s success instead of creating your own and furthering your craft. Also, just supporting everyone who doesn’t support you screws you over, as much as that sounds selfish but it is true. 

I personally struggle with self-esteem because I know I have great qualities and I could produce great content but I’m not the conventional beauty, not the smartest person and definitely not the most social person on earth and so trying to lure people to understand what I am trying to do is hard man. But just taking it one step at a time is great. Especially now dude I’ve just reached 100 subscriptions on YouTube but I still feel like I’ve not achieved anything yet. I mean look at the likes of Mihlali dude – 50 000 subscriptions. You sort of envy people like that and who are actually reaching great heights. 

Keeping motivated is just hard nowadays because it’s all about LOOKS more than it is about the content that you’re producing. 

OyamaOur Generation is VERY misguided hey, especially when it comes to self-love, most people has resorted to changing their appearance (make-up), cutting hair in a weird way to get attention or seem cool. But I stress the make-up one, women have lost a lot of self-love, they are being influenced by other people and how they view beauty. I mean, a lot of women look better without it.  A lot of people are full of insecurities and they don’t want to confront or work on them. This Generation is supposed to be headstrong but they are failing at that, it’s not that parents take it as “Attention seeking” – we can’t seem to express ourselves properly. 

Parents really care we just can’t find a way to explain what’s bothering us. Partying has become a way of life for a lot of people, if you not intoxicated you are not having fun. This Generation is too worried about what other people have to say, we tend to follow a lot of meaningless trends that get us nowhere. Music-wise, meaningless music is hyped these days – music with no message or lesson. Instagram blinds a lot of people by selling them dreams – people posting nice pictures, but they aren’t doing anything with their lives. Our Generation seems to be chasing likes and followers, not what really matters in life – only a few people set good examples, but the rest of them are blinded… Taking pictures of their bodies just to get more followers – like, what the hell is that! 

In relationships, a lot of people are failing at it because they are taking advice from people and reading about stuff that end up ruining things. Relationships need to be genuine, but people have alternative motives and there is no honesty or not enough honesty and communication. People are afraid of being hurt so they hide things about themselves that’s why they are never fully happy.

Our Generation is full of potential, we are just not working hard enough. Unemployment shouldn’t scare anyone, if you put in that work, you’ll get somewhere. We should stop being close-minded because that’s the first mistake. This is the lazy Generation…The moment you fear unemployment you’ve already lost – you shouldn’t think about it, just WORK HARD. We not inquisitive enough, we should be questioning everything, we are at fault for not being woke. Our mindsets need to change in order to grow into the thing we really want to be. We all need to grow up and stop making excuses. This Generation is easily influenced by rubbish.

Nonhlanhla M I think this generation is misguided or lost. We just wanna focus more on what is happening on Instagram and wish to be the girls who are flourishing and living lavish. And it is frustrating to see a girl you’re the same age as them but they are already living like they’re employed or well-established business women. And I think we are the ones to blame for that because we know how these girls get the money but at the end of the day we still want what they have. 

Instagram, for me, has brainwashed all of us. We’re constantly following people’s lives and watching some build their own careers whilst we’re not doing anything for ourselves. Instead of using that as self-motivation, we get depressed about everything. And it’s hard for our parents to understand that because we’re growing up in a very different time as they did so they automatically think we are crazy.

Thabiso | First of all, we are the generation that is faced with the burden of bridging the inequality caused by apartheid that happened in South Africa – we have pressure to show that we’ve made it and we’re happy.

I feel like we are the people who are just supposed to sacrifice some of the things we like in order to secure a better future for those that will follow after us – whether it be our nephews or even our own sons, we have pressure to “make it” so that our overall general standards and socioeconomic status changes for the better. So now you find that most of us are depressed because the stuff we do isn’t what makes us happy – it’s just something we have to do in order to have a better life. Then came along the evil space we call social media, where we see some people our age or even younger, living the life we’ve always dreamt of. This kills us psychologically because you don’t understand how they’ve done it and why they are so “happy”, we begin to conform by doing stuff just to please the public, sometimes not because we like it, but because it’s giving us the attention we crave! This creates an illusion that you have also “made it”.

Who is to blame? The people that denied our parents the chance to live up to their best and achieve all they could achieve so that we don’t have to work twice as hard, doing stuff we hate. Will we ever grow up? I don’t think so, we don’t want to sacrifice parts of our lives so that there’s generational liberty, financial liberty, psychological liberty, social liberty for the generations that follow.

Personally, I understand that I need to undertake an intense career with financial stability if I ever want to be happy, or at least my children to be happy. I hate the course I’m doing, I’m depressed and anxious half the time, but it’s something I have to do so my kids could live their best lives.

I don’t really participate in social media because I know how much of a mental hindrance it plays, if you’re not careful it can kill you. We just need to stop feeling entitled and work our asses off, it was stolen from us, it sucks, but they not handing it back to us, so we need to work hard and improve our own lives.

SinesiphoWe have been brainwashed into following a certain standard of beauty or a way of living. Especially overseas, the stories we hear on the TV show Catfish are usually people who don’t feel pretty enough or worthy to be loved or acknowledged as a person. It actually sucks that most people commit suicide due to peer pressure, or being bullied on social media because they are different. I could say so much about this, the minute we talk about such things to our parents they just compare us to their times and they never take these things seriously or you are referred to as being weak if you are a guy. 

I wouldn’t know whose fault it is because I could say it’s our fault for conforming but you get attacked if you dare to be different. It’s as if we are puppets or an experiment – we all dress the same, look the same, speak the same. Each and every page on social media looks like someone else’s. It’s like we are living the same life. Technology is influencing us, the media and the new trends – if we look back to previous generations, there wasn’t as much pressure. Yes, it wasn’t perfect neither and it had its own challenges but our generation is way messed up. Morals are gone, hospitality is gone, we have lost ourselves so much.

NtandoWe’re a lost generation. Everything we do needs the public’s opinion because we want to be ‘perfect’ in many people’s eyes. It’s our fault as a young generation that we are lost, we are influenced by technology and social media which is like a drug to us. 

We believe that you’re beautiful when you’re light-skinned and therefore filters were created for such – to make us believe that we’re beautiful (after we’ve filtered our photos) and we believe that we have to get more likes from people. This also shows that we need the public’s opinions with our lives, the decisions we make. It’s not our parent’s fault – no parent give birth to their child and raise them child telling them, “If you were to be a little lighter in complexion, or a little skinny, you’d be beautiful…” They tell us we’re beautiful and somehow we tend to ignore their opinion on our beauty. 

The kind of fun is partying because that is where we get to know and be known by a lot of people…more people we know, more friends we get on social media, more likes on our posts and more likes we get in person, which means more opinions from the public. Even in relationships, most of the time we date people because of their appearance instead of their personality and cry when they break our hearts because we chose them for the wrong reasons.

We’re spoilt. Everything now comes easier than it did in last generations. When we don’t get something as soon as we want it, we give up because we are so used to things being done for us. We don’t really need the public to take decisions with our lives. Yes, people can influence the decisions we make in life but the final decision depends on us. I mean, it’s our lives, we should think about ourselves before others because we face the consequences alone. Sometimes the “put other people first before you” phrase does not work.

ZanoIn my opinion our generation is lost! We fail to accept the fact that we are lost so we are to blame. However, in a way, our parents are also the ones to blame because some parents think it’s alright to accept all the wrongs the children are doing and support them through it. We also think that Instagram is life, “likes” mean everything. Social media has ruined us in a way. We do stupid things just to get “likes” and we also lose our morals just to fit in. We also jump from one partner to another. Where is the sense in that? We will eventually grow up but for some of us it will be too late. Some will never grow up just like the ‘blessers’. We also try too hard to impress and we really hype up senseless music, some Hip Hop songs are senseless. All in all, our generation is lost and we need to do self-introspection and help ourselves.

Amanda Z I think the generation is misguided in the sense that, a lot of who we are, or what we do or how we perceive ourselves is greatly influenced by a lot of external factors, social media being the one factor. I think that there is this misconception that whatever we see on the media or wherever is how things should be or that is the correct way of doing things. I think we’ve been mislead into thinking that things should be a certain way in order to meet the social standards.

I mean in terms of whether our mindsets will ever be fixed, I highly doubt it hey. I mean looking at how the world is evolving, it’s kinda impossible to get people to think or act in a way that isn’t influenced by what they’ve seen. I personally think that social media and the people around us tend to influence our personal lives. Lol I doubt we’ll ever grow up.

AwandeWe are lost dude, I’m depressed 90% of the time. But songs are good, they make us forget our problems for a little while. Shit bra relationships and careers are my biggest worry. Whose fault is it? Lol. It’s the parents’ fault for not being open enough with us, there’s always that barrier.

SisiNow even if we were misguided and lost and maybe we were raised in a way that we don’t know how to love ourselves, I think that this generation of ours is weak and is always looking for someone to blame.  When we are depressed, our parents take it as attention seeking but we must also understand that these people are hardcore and they had to fend for themselves because their lives were never as easy as we have it now. We may be a misguided and lost generation but only you can change your life and what you want the outcome to be. 

Sometimes I even think we are spoiled, we want to be like those Instagram kids and probably feel as though they are doing well in life and we want what they have. This generation is weak and whether we are misguided or not and whether our parents are at fault or not, pointing fingers won’t solve anything so I think its time people grew up and said “Yes, we are hurt but how do we move on from here?” At the end of the day its our lives and not anybody else’s.

SineguguSome of us are lost because we try so hard to fit in, our families and friends pressure us they want us to be what they want us to be, they don’t want to accept us. Which leads to us thinking we’re not enough even this education system does this to us. This generation is confused, we want to make others happy and not ourselves.

HlaselaniIn my own personal view, I’d say it is social media’s fault! And our parents are right when they say we are seeking for attention. Look, this generation is lost including myself, we can never find ‘self-love’ if we still want to be like other people who we see on Instagram or Facebook. Like 3 out of 20 people want to be teachers, the rest want to be rappers and DJs, I’m not saying it’s wrong but people now choose careers according to how ‘cool’ they are.

A teacher will never get 20k likes on Instagram but a rapper can even get 100k, so our generation just wants to impress other people more then they actually want to impress their family. People flex on Instagram about helping the less fortunate, people on Facebook will tell us about what they did for their parents, so we can ‘like’ and we are going to do the same so we can also get likes. So, to tell you the truth it only going to get worse, we will never grow up.


  • milliefowler November 24, 2017 at

    Such an interesting post! Enjoyed reading this so much! Self-awareness is so important and youve really highlighted this! Thanks so much for sharing! ❤️💙

    • Mbalenhle November 25, 2017 at

      Thank you dear, I’m glad you loved it 😊💓

  • Deshi Nenkinan Nehemiah November 21, 2017 at

    Oh Mbalenhle I wish you’d asked me to vent on this topic! I do that a lot.

    We are extremely lost but powerful and blessed. Never has there been a generation so blessed to wreck worldwide impact and change the world. We live in the technology age and the older generation fought the wars for us.

    BUT we use the technology falsely and social media is the blame. But we must take responsibility if we want to change and know that nobody has a perfect life and we all struggle and then go on to stop painting picture perfect.

    We can then focus on the real problems out world has and use what we have to diagnose

    • Mbalenhle November 25, 2017 at

      I’m so sorry l didn’t, l got overwhelmed with too many comments, thats why l had to split the post into ‘Parts’ 😀. But hey, that’s what the comment section is here for right? 😊

      Wow! I actually love that you mentioned that we have so much power to either change the world for the better or completely wreck it. Social media has damaged most souls l believe, that’s where you find people who seem to be doing great with their lives then we find ourselves comparing their lives and success to ours. I think we have so much potential to transform the world to a better living condition and fix everyone’s mentality but woah it would take years for that to be a success🌻

  • letsbuildfutures November 21, 2017 at

    Great post I definitely identify with Thabiso even over here in North America the pressure to end generational poverty is stifling. Having to sometimes forego your wants and desires just to pursue stability for those coming after you is hard especially when you have no mentor ship. Often, we’re lost because our parents are lost. The can’t help is out of the wilderness because they never got out themselves. Sometimes it’s up to you to pave that path out and even with all the mistakes and accomplishments you will still feel lost because finding yourself has been put on the back burner for the sake of paving that path.

    • Mbalenhle November 25, 2017 at

      I’m quite surprised it’s not just here in South Africa, but you are right hey, we have to pave the way for ourselves because although our parents think they are helping, they don’t know what they are doing neither. Thanks for the enlightenment 🌻

  • Cherylene November 21, 2017 at

    Great post and thank you for highlighting this. Self-awareness is key and second to that would be taking action to make the changes we need for our own happiness. Have a great week. 🙂

    • Mbalenhle November 25, 2017 at

      We really need to start taking action, afterall our behaviours will affect us in the long run. Thank you so much💖. Enjoy your weekend💃🌻

      • Cherylene November 25, 2017 at

        Very true! 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend.

  • Christopher Bland November 20, 2017 at

    Hey… I just wanted to tell you thank you for showing your support! 👍 😆

  • Sarah Jane November 20, 2017 at

    This is a really interesting post. I also think that because so many people feel lost and uncertain, more people are turning to self care and self love which is actually a good thing in the end! I think if we asked our parents what we mean by self care they wouldn’t have a clue.

    • Mbalenhle November 20, 2017 at

      It’s good that people are turning to self-care and self-love because that helps with self-discovery and emphasises the importance of being true to yourself 💝

  • The Style of Laura Jane November 20, 2017 at

    This was really interesting to read and I noticed that social-media was a huge discussion in most people’s comments.
    We are a really powerful generation and I think we are taught to be aware of that. We know that we have technology and despite all its downsides, it can create our careers. The amount of times that I have seen job applications with requests for social-media statistics – it seems as if you need a following to go along with your career history.
    To me this generation has become unoriginal. Everyone kind of follows each other. People start to look the same, post the same; people are writing about the same stuff. And whilst I do not pretend that I am perfect and above all of this, I do wish that we could see more change. xx

    • Mbalenhle November 20, 2017 at

      Social media is such an issue because we are all so deeply immersed in it. And you are quite right hey, technology has a lot of downsides but we depend on it for careers too so we should use technology wisely. I also honestly wish we could change for the better, we need to ‘wake up’ now or the next generation will suffer 🌻

  • theorangutanlibrarian November 20, 2017 at

    Love this post too! I think there is some truth to the idea we’re a lost generation. I do agree with Amanda that we have potential though. And yes I think Asande is right that there’s too much of a focus on appearances- which Oyama touched on and I think a lot of this has to do with the social media problem Hlaselani mentioned.

    My own take on this, and a lot of what I took away from this post is that I think it’s time to look inwards and do some soul searching. I mean we could blame all these external factors, but even then it’s our responsibility to do something about how unhappy and disconnected a lot of us are.

    • Mbalenhle November 20, 2017 at

      They made such valid points which they backed up with reasons that totally make sense 💖. It’s sad what this generation actually goes through and l think you are right in saying that we need to do some deep soul searching to figure out where we stand and how exactly we want live our lives in this era 🌼

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    About Me

    Hi and welcome! My name is Mbalenhle K but everyone calls me Mbali for short (say: mm-bah-lee). I am a freelance copywriter who loves all things art, experiences and aesthetics (big time Pinterest gworl 🧚🏽)! I am the founder of Budding Regardless where I talk about mindfulness, self-development and self-nurturing for creatives. Read More

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