Nowadays, society is not what it was several decades ago. The environment has changed, the culture has changed, people have changed, and so has the society they live in. The problem is that as society changes, so do the type of major social issues that emerge. In youth, these problems are always arising.
These days, adolescents are exhibited to three major social problems that can have a major negative impact on their lives. These problems are drugs, violence, and mental health disorders, three issues that go hand-in-hand. Even though one does not want to deal with these dilemmas, it is impossible to avoid them because they are everywhere. Something as simple as going to a party or doing an everyday thing like a watching a movie will expose you to these problems.
One major issue that has turned up in more recent years, is the unprecedented acceleration in violence among youth, and often fatal violence all around the world. Anecdotal evidence of an increase in violence by young people against women, children and old people, of abduction, molestation, of road rage and other violent actions is alarming. This epidemic has caused serious concern to the populace. One of the strongest influences on young minds today is unquestionably media, which principally constitutes television and cinema. The vulnerable youth today are continually exposed to the media which has a lot to show by means of vulgarity and violence. Scenes of bloody violence in films and some of the TV programmes stimulate youth to produce negative and dark thoughts which may, one day, turn into real life dangerous scenes. Violence is constantly displayed on the news as well.
People have now grown numb to such displays of violence, as they have already grown used to seeing such scenes. News of a shooting or mass murder is now seen as a daily event. Now a lot of people who commit crimes, do not think much of their actions as they have seen other people execute it regularly. Since media plays a serious role in influencing the youth, it can, in fact, be used in a way to increase awareness among the young. The media has a tremendous potential to communicate, educate and enlighten the ignorant masses to guard against this terrible spread of violence among the youth. The media instead should be used as a positive channel to direct the energy of the youth in the constructive mold. An additional major problem is drugs.
Drug use is a rising problem amongst teenagers in today’s society. Drug use usually starts in the preteen and teenage years, these years most significant in the maturation process. During these years, youth are confronted with complicated tasks of finding their self-identity, refining their sexual roles, asserting independence, and seeking goals that would give their lives purpose. The use of drugs by minors is the result of a combination of multiple factors such as peer pressure, interest, and availability. Drug addiction among adolescents, in turn, leads to depression and suicide. One of the most important reasons for teenage drug use is because they want to fit in.
No one wants to be the only one not participating. No one wants to be left out. So sometimes they make careless decisions, like taking drugs, to cover-up their insecurities. They do not think about how drugs can isolate you from your friends and family. They forget to look past that one party to see how things could turn out.
Or maybe they just do not know people around them who aren’t using drugs and cannot see how good their life is without drug use. Teens who are surrounded by a friend group that does drugs and smokes, fall into the same path, and that increases the amount of drug use. The best method for a teen to deal with this is to find another friend group.
One that does not involve themselves with drugs, so that teens will not feel the need to do drugs to fit in because you become like the people you associate with. Another contribution to the increasing use of drugs with teens is their curiosity and because they’re bored. Lots of people turn to drugs for a little excitement because they have nothing else to do. But people who make these kinds of decisions usually find out that drugs are ultimately really a waste and painful. Drugs don’t change the situation, they just might make it worse. People experiment with drugs because they are curious as to what it can do for them. It’s human nature to want to experiment with trying things out helps you decide if it is right for you.
But drugs are not one of the things that you should be messing around with. Another major issue affecting teens is the increase in mental health problems like depression. Unrealistic academic, social, or family expectations can create a strong sense of rejection and can lead to deep disappointment. When things go wrong at school or at home, teens often overreact. Many young people feel that life is not fair or that things never go their way.
They feel “stressed out” and confused. To make matters worse, teens are bombarded by conflicting messages from parents, friends, and society. Today’s teens see more of what life has to offer — both good and bad — on television, at school, in magazines, and on the internet. Teens need adult guidance more than ever to understand all the emotional and physical changes they are experiencing. When teens’ moods disrupt their ability to function on a day-to-day basis, it may indicate a serious emotional or mental disorder that needs attention — adolescent depression.
Unfortunately, disorders like depression are never really noticed until it is too late, as it is very easy to hide symptoms of such a disorder, and many people just confuse it with sadness. Society needs to be taught of the symptoms of mental health disorders so that they can notice if someone is showing symptoms of a mental health disorder and take action before it is too late. Societies issues cannot just be solved with a snap of a finger. Dealing with increasing drug use, violence, and mental issues among young people takes the collective effort of parents, youth, and society as a whole.
We as a society must do our duty to teach the new generation of what is right and wrong in the world, and only from then can we progress as a peaceful planet.