In this generation, no one seems to be satisfied with what they have, no one is ever completely happy with what they have because there is always something better out there, something way better than what we have. It is so confusing to figure out which direction we are supposed to take because literally everything contradicts something else… We say money does not buy happiness but in most cases, we need money to be able to do things that make us happy. We say, “Live your life differently” but then when we do, we start to feel uncomfortable when people suggest that we are seeking attention. We say that talking about our issues will help us feel better but then again if we speak about our issues we get judged directly and indirectly.
Funny. Sad. We don’t really know what we are doing. What’s odd is that we are all aware of how messed up our mindsets have become but are we doing anything about it? Absolutely not. Instead, we are going with the flow, we are afraid question how our minds have been wired to think since birth. This is the last part of collab post which is a continuation of Part 1 and Part 2…
Zolani | I think we were once misguided, but now we’re woke. I’m saying this because you find more people everyday exploring/following their desired career paths and establishing businesses whereas we were all led to believing that you needed to get a job/work for someone in order to be well off (financially). The issue of self-love will always be a huge problem because I think we always want to impress others rather than ourselves and we all fall for what society offers (what’s currently trending). So, if obesity was the new ‘in-thing’ we’d all want to be obese. We’re never quite satisfied with we have.
I think everyone’s guilty – our parents, us, society. We allow trends to determine how we should live our lives. Our parents want to live their dreams through us, it’s all messed up. Nonetheless we’re slowly going through a transition and realizing that it’s all a trap.
Instagram will always be Instagram – it helps us put a front so we fit in with the elite class. So as long as your page is booming with likes and followers you feel like you’ve made it in life. So yeah, people will soon realise that the distractions are not worth it.
Slungile | To a large extent our generation is misguided. In a sense that we fail to prioritise what’s important in life – we are more society driven instead of self driven. We seek validation from society and want to be part of the ‘in crowd’. We place too much power in the hands of other people in terms of our happiness. We hype up these things because it’s our escape from the reality. That’s our fault, not knowing who we are exactly and not focusing on what’s important and placing too much value or importance in nonsensical things.
With regards to relationships, we fail or can’t maintain a consistent level in relationships because we have lost the true meaning of the concept of love. We are selfish. We are inconsiderate. We like the thrill or the adrenaline rush of dangerous things. We don’t appreciate what we have, as we’re consistently comparing our relationships or partners to others, not realising that what you have is tailor made for you. We refuse to question things because of our fear of our parents or what society has mapped out as being ‘the right way of doing things’.
Personally, the problem is the manifestation of a generational shift. In that we are too different in comparison to our parents, as we both have grown up in different centuries or eras. To make it simple, what I’m saying is that, our parents don’t understand our struggles and our needs as they’re totally different due to differences in eras. Yes, there are things that overlap but to a large extent they don’t understand. So, it’s both of our faults.
Our mindsets can change or be fixed. Only if we allow ourselves to change or adapt because ultimately, we define or choose our own paths. We will grow up once we want to grow up.
Sbusiso | We are to blame and so are our parents. I think both parties are responsible for these poor conditions. Many children were raised in a materialist manner therefore their self-image or self-love is reliant on tangibles. Now the problem here is that we were raised in a materialistic manner but were not taught how to maintain such living conditions. Many parents don’t take the time to sit down and lecture their own children about the future. The reasons why I say the youth is also responsible for this failing fate is because each and every individual has the capability to think for themselves and chose what they want for their future.
Instead of dwelling on our weaknesses and praising those who do well or who seem to be doing well why don’t we identify our strengths and set our future in that direction? See, a personal example I can give is this – I was never the smart type, I did badly in maths but I put in the hard work so that I may succeed. I identified what I do best and chose a career that’s in line with what I do best. The point here is, it doesn’t really pay off to put on a mask and flaunt all the good things that aren’t really happening in your life or on the other hand, cheer on other people that have “made it” because in reality many of those successful people or those who’ve got it all really don’t.
Stan | This generation is chasing the ages of 24 to 28, we all want to live in that period. We all have expectations of how we going to be living once we get our job, once we get a decent salary and we are getting the assets we want in life. The way that the media is portraying things, they are putting it in such a way that the people that are starting trends, the people that create technology, it’s all happening very quickly.
We are in a society where we have great expectations based on our past generations, past generations are our parents who actually went to school, they got a job and were able to sustain themselves. We are trapped in a worker mentality – work hard and you will get paid. We are trapped in a mentality that we must work for someone, we should go to school, work hard and get a degree, work for a big company, work our way up the ladder and eventually get to the top where we will be bosses. But it doesn’t work like that, the best way to sleep at work is to own the company and if we think that way, if we think like entrepreneurs we will be able be live a life of leisure and do whatever we want.
We are also lost psychologically and mentally; our parents don’t understand the time that we live in so they can’t guide us in such a way that we are able to handle things now. We lack financial education, something that they don’t teach you at school. We love what’s appealing, we are very expressive on social media, we feel like it’s a scapegoat for us – it’s our way of expressing ourselves because we are so entangled in this technological age. We want to live as the amount we are earning or more so we do our best to take pictures in such a way that it depicts a lifestyle that is much bigger than what we are actual living. No one is humble these days, it takes a lot of self-control and a lack of social consciousness for you to be humble. That’s our issue these days, that’s our problem.
Relationships come and go just as quick as trend go. No one wants to build steady relationships, when it comes to relationships no one want to be a friend of someone first they just thinking of the physical, “what can I do with that body?” Once you get it, you are satisfied yes, and you might still be dating that person but there is no foundation that you have built with them, there is no mutual attraction, you haven’t set down the building blocks for the relationship to flourish long term, long after the honeymoon phase has passed and that’s the problem.
We are very expressive society these days, this generation is very expressive. The fear of unemployment and not having money is a huge fear to us. This is why we get demotivated when we don’t have anything that’s generating income in our lives. Personally, I think everyone should be a trader because trading is the easiest way that you could make money quickly and slowly.
No one can teach you how to live your life, you have to find your own direction in life that’s why we have to make mistakes but in this generation we are making too many mistakes and we are not learning from them. we are a generation that doesn’t want to ask ourselves what we are doing and how we feel about what we are doing. If we were a culture and a society that always spoke the truth, that wasn’t subjective but was objective, we would be very well off. Everyone would know their direction, their situation and no one would judge anyone else.
Society is responsible for this, there is no big person on top of the food chain that is dictating how society should be run. There are people who dictate how money should be circulated in society yes but there is no one that is dictating how we should act, how we should think. There are trend-setters of course and we follow trends but it doesn’t mean that we are not in control of ourselves, we just need proper home education and financial education. Once you are financially educated everything else in your life falls into place. The day we grow up is the day we look at the truth.
Our parents are at fault and we at the same time are at fault, there is not transparency, there is no honesty between the two generations – our parents and us. We don’t go up to our parents and say, “Listen, this is what I am facing in life, you might not understand it but I just want you to know that this is what’s going on, this is how I feel about my current situation, this is how I feel about school, this is how I feel about how I am going to approach things after I finish my degree, I don’t know my direction in life,” Just admitting things will make things better but we don’t want to do that.
If our parents admitted that they don’t trust us and our direction in life regarding what we have chosen to study or how we are acting right now, we would understand how they feel. If someone was telling you the truth about how they feel, you would understand where they are coming from at least and be able to respond to them with your honest personality – that’s what we need to become, we need to fix our personalities. Once you have fixed your personality and mindset you are able to find a way forward. There is no failure when you look at the truth, you will always find inner peace when you have the truth and the possibilities are endless.
Stha | I feel that since life has evolved a lot and things sort of come easy nowadays compared to how they used to be has misguided this generation. They fail to understand that there’s still something called “hustling ” and how they interpret “hustle” is by proving something to someone rather than just doing for their own good. When it comes to social media, I feel there’s always the good and the bad in it. It just depends on the person on what decision they want to take, same thing applies to relationships.
By all of this, I feel we are being influenced by the Media. Media controls us, its shows us how we should be living our lives. Whatever we do is influenced by it but it depends on the person. You can’t control a person’s mind honestly so it’s up to an individual to decide when will they “grow up”.
Through it all, I personally feel it’s nobody’s fault because we live and we learn from whatever decisions we take everyday and we grow from them you know. Our mindsets cannot be fixed now, because I feel it keeps going on, like I said, it’s good and bad at the very same time. It’s life.
Kwanele | I would not say we are misguided per say but we choose to lead ourselves astray while being fully aware of it. We deliberately seek societal appraisal and approval. Instead of being happy and finding inner joy and inner motivational happiness. For some reason we feel societal appraisal carries more power upon my existence than the inner self conscience.
Zuko | People are so fucking hyped up by this false lifeless “life”, which they dub as, “life goals”. Taking pictures of food that you haven’t even eaten – you haven’t even put it in your mouth yet and you already think it’s “amazing”. This generation of fakest fucks with fake ambitions and fake hustling. The reason why people are so depressed is because of Instagram and Facebook. Immature people posting pictures of their forex accounts – okay great, that’s money, but why are you showing us your Financials statements? We are constantly trying to include people in every facet of our ‘picture perfect life’ – “please, only the left side, it’s my good side”. 10k followers who don’t love you, they love you for your life but not you.
We are influencing ourselves. We look into other people’s lives so much that we’ve become copy cats, pussies that can’t figure out their own destinies or at least too scared to try find them. Relationships have forever been messed up, since Adam and Eve, external forces will always bring relationships to their demise. You would compromise for that relationship until death do you apart. Our great grand parents did it. Divorce and breaking up is a new thing. Heartbreak and love go together hand in hand.
We are doomed, social media, the interest, television and marketing have secured our fate. There will always be a happier couple on your timeline. There will always be a better car on your television. There will always be a sexier woman/man on the Internet. And you will never keep up with the Jones’s.
Mukelwa | Honestly, I don’t think we are depressed in ourselves. We are depressed because of what we see, social media being part of it. Social media and the pressure. The pressure is part of the reason we are depressed – we are actually depressed because of the pressure to do well, the pressure to get a job and the pressure from the parents. So, all these things are the reasons why we are depressed.
With self-love, the people that we think actually love themselves, me included, are constantly seeking approval from the people that we say we trying to prove to that we love ourselves. So, I’m saying that I’m plus size, I’m a big girl and I’m proud but I’m constantly seeking approval from those people that I’m like ‘Fuck, I don’t care about your opinions’. I’m posting those pictures to prove to them that I actually do love myself.
What is influencing us? Social media, this world is just fucked up and it’s too late to change anything, the more different we try to become the more we actually depress ourselves because if I say I’m going to be a feminist I need to constantly prove that I’m a feminist and I need to do certain things to fit in a certain criteria and that depresses me. I just feel like there is literally no way to get it right, you can act like you don’t care but always you need to succumb to someone else’s thoughts and you need to consider other people.
So, I don’t know… I really don’t know, but I do feel like we are constantly trying to prove something even thou we say, “fuck their opinions” the fact that we put that out there means that we actually do care about their opinions what people think of us. Even Instagram, the fact that it’s always about the perfect angles. It’s just a mess, we are literally taking pictures of flowers coz we want to fit in because we want to seem like we are into nature. I just feel like everyone is always trying to belong and in a box.
Slindile | We are actually lost! Parents don’t take responsibility to talk to their child/children and that affects us. We don’t have a proper connection with our parents and that leads to depression because we find ourselves questioning whether our parents really care about us or not. Not that I am blaming parents for what we have become, but they are part of the reason why. Another thing that affects us as the youth is the music we listen to, you see, if you go to the internet and search the lyrics of what is being said, you find yourself liking what they are saying and end up adopting that lifestyle of the artist.
Even social media is influencing us because you end up wanting to live the life of the people you follow so you start listing the things you need to buy to also get a lot of followers – like a new phone that will take nicer pictures. We change the kind of pictures we post when we realise that we aren’t getting enough followers and you immediately take it as competition when someone else has more followers than you do so we end up doing fake things to look good in the face of the opposition. That also leads to depression.
When it comes to relationships, if your parents have never told you about their past experiences you won’t really know what you are doing, you will just go with the flow just like everyone else. We just never know how to approach our parents about relationships because they have always given us tough love from a young age, our parents do not understand that we are growing and as we are growing we are doing things that they did too.
I don’t know whose fault it is that we are lost because I feel like we all have a choice – we could choose to say No let me do things the right way, we have a choice when it comes to the kind of music we want to listen to and so on. I don’t think our mindsets will ever be fixed though, instead, it’s only getting worse. I feel like if you are open and talk about how you feel, you can avoid depression because people with depression are constantly bottling things in, with no one to talk to. So the problem starts at home, they don’t give us a chance to voice out how we feel.
Nkanyiso | I think when it comes to self-love, it’s something we are not shown or something we are not aware of from a young age. You see, from a young age we don’t see that from our older brothers and sister or something like that. So, it’s kind of strange and weird when it comes to self-love, like it’s some kind of creature we don’t know. Hyping up on Instagram and taking nice pictures and all, I think it’s similar to partying – it’s just something that is happening in our generation where we just get excited when someone posts photos of themselves and even skin revealing pictures. It’s not really a nice to watch what’s happening to our generation, it’s something that is beyond our power at the moment.
We still can’t do things right in relationships, well I think we start seeing all that stuff from home, where in some cases the father or mother isn’t around and we get to learn tough love. We just keep seeing maybe our mother coming with some uncle this week and the next week it’s some other uncle, that damages our brains because we not sure what’s going on and sometimes your mother gets so serious or your dad get so serious about this person they are bringing over that they actually start forgetting about you. So, our mindset on relationships is just fucked up from previous incidences.
With regards to careers, I would say that we are uncertain – when you ask most matriculants of this year what are they going to university for they will actually tell you something they were suggested by a member of their family or maybe a teacher or someone close to them. We just never go for what we think is best for us, we just indecisive when it comes to what is good for us and what we love doing. Even when you choose the right career you just become affected by unemployment here in South Africa which is pretty fucked up and rather sad.
I just think that we were hypnotised about all this stuff, we were lied to from a very young age. We were never really taught how to live our lives, we were just taught how to try and control it, how to develop problem-solving skills to maintain whatever challenge we face but we were never taught how to live our lives as in how to decide for ourselves which career if best for us or how to go about living the life we want to live. So yeah, our minds were messed up from the start. I think we are not doing much to try to better the situation on everything I have mentioned. This generation is kind of scared but at least it’s on the rise, it’s kind of questioning everything that’s happening. I think we are going forward and I think we will get there, we just have to unite and discuss that as a group instead of just trying to tackle every situation alone.
Qiniso | Misguided, yes, we are. I feel like this generation is just… lost. I think the big influence is social media, I feel like a person that knows a lot of people whereas I’ve only met just a few. I think it’s part of evolving, I don’t think we will go back to our parents’ time because times have changed – now we can do stuff our parents never did.
With self-love, that is something we lack big time. That’s because society has set these standards, it’s all about how your body looks, your dress code, your skin tone, your height. If you are not ‘that thing’ then you are doing it wrong and you are not the ish and that’s how we lose our self-love because we want to live up to these standards that society has created. Partying has become our only kind of fun because of social media, it has made us believe that partying makes you cool.
Social media has influenced our lives in so many bad ways, I think it all comes down to you as a person whether you want to challenge the system we live in, society has made us believe that if you are not a doctor or a pharmacist or an engineer, then you are not doing it right. That is so sad because that means we are losing a lot of talent, maybe someone who was forced to do Engineering right now has a talent in something else.
I think our mindsets could be fixed if we could start with our education system – create a system that teaches you how to be an entrepreneur, a system that teaches you how to be an artist, a system that teaches you how to be yourself. You know what I mean? Embrace your talents, embrace who you are. Right now, our education system is engineered in a sense that we have to go to university, get a job and be broke. This system was not built for you to flourish.
Nonetheless, I don’t know when we will grow up. I just think we are evolving, we are growing into something else that our parents were not and I think that is sad because our parent’s generation was more real in a way.
Kamvelihle | I think what we need to have a clear understanding as people is that we are living in a different time. We are living in a time of self-awareness, a time that is different from that our parents grew up in. Our parents were taught to be nurses and teachers and we are gunning for a time where we partake in going beyond the poverty line. So, in a time of self-discovery there is no way in hell that you going to get it all figured out that is why it looks as if we are all messed up, yes, we are in a way.
When you tell your parents that you want to do things like drama they be like, ‘No, go study to be a doctor’ because they don’t have an understanding. Now, there is no way that we will completely have an understanding of ourselves if we keep reflecting and checking the old books on how things were done. It’s good to know where you come from however you need to focus on where you are going. So, personally I don’t think we are lost, we are on a journey of self-discovery. The people that are going to come after us are going to be in a better place than us, we are in a better place than our parents.
We are more expressive, back in the day they didn’t have people that started their own brands, they didn’t have people who were artistic, more of the careers that people were afraid to embark on the youth are actually doing it, they are tackling entrepreneurship. I think entrepreneurship is the only thing that is going to get us out of the gutter and I know when I say entrepreneurship everybody thinks we can’t all be entrepreneurs but when I say entrepreneurs I am mean that there are different levels of entrepreneurship – there are the top dogs and then there are the middle class and then there are the common people. In that pyramid each and every entrepreneur is needed so I think that’s where we need to understand, it’s the way the universe is working – it’s pushing us towards becoming self-independent, self-reliant, so that’s why we have all those problems.
You can’t teach people how to live, it’s like teaching a dog how to speak, it can’t be done. You can’t teach people how to live, it comes naturally, what you feel like doing right now is what you are going to do. I don’t think anyone is at fault, it’s not our parents fault because they didn’t know anything about it, it’s also not our fault because technically we don’t know what we are doing, we are on a journey of self-discovery. So, no one is at fault, what we need to do is put our minds together, we need to channel our positive energy. If we work like that we can try put the puzzles together and remember that life is not about completing the puzzle, you will never complete it up until you are like 80.
Will our mindsets ever be fixed? Never. Human beings were made to fumble, crumble and mess up and I think that’s why God loves us. Unfortunately, we are all not the same, some people are easily influenced, some people go with trends. So, society plays a big role when it comes to that unfortunately it is the truth. When will we ever grow up? Never. No, when it comes to growth you can never say, ‘I’m fully grown now’, because each and every day you grow and learn new things, you discover new things.