kids in crisis

21st Century Nigerian Young Ones in Crisis

 Thoughts and lifestyles change from generation to generation. Technology is advanced to bring improvements to life and culture. Moral values and ethics are passed from one generation to another.

The world has changed since we entered the 21st century. Some will agree changes do occur over time but this is different as we entered the era of affordable technology and smart phones. Young ones can have access to social resources available globally as the internet has turned the world to a global village.

People can find themselves in a single room via the internet. While this has made life easy as people can become friends with people far away faster than the days of pen pals through the post office, it has also come with it more dangers than blessings.

Where this Nigerian young generation is heading to seem bleak and scary but the future will tell what they would be evolving to.

I would be taking a look at a few problems the Nigeria youth faces today although they seemed unaware that it is a problem.

SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME ON PHONE AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Today, young persons spend a greater part of their time on their phone interacting with peers on social media.  In those days, we visit our friends to chat, play games and converge for other social interactions. These strengthened the bond of our friendships. Face to face meeting and the time we spent with our friends helped us to gauge the honesty of our friendships.

You would agree with me that is not the case today as true friendship is hard to find today as those we meet via social media aren’t true friends. Loyalty and commitment is no longer tenable and you can tell why.

 READING BOOKS NOW DIFFICULT

As secondary students in the 90s, our parents and teachers imbibed the culture of book readings. It was compulsory to buy recommended literature text and have them read and analysed in class. I can remember Eze Goes to School, The Drummer Boy, Weep Not Child, Things Fall Apart , The Incorruptible Judge, The Trial of Brother Jero and many more.

We would check the back of the novels to see others by the publishers and buy them. There were other novels both local and foreign that we buy from book stands on our way home. We would also read newspapers on our way home today.

Today, young persons hardly read novels or any other books and this is having huge effect on their education. They are lazy about reading their school books and hence the increase in examination malpractice. Even with examination malpractice, many still fail because how can you even cheat when you haven’t even read the material.

Reading books will go a long way to expand knowledge, develop our mental capacity and extend the horizon of our vocabulary among other benefits.

POOR SENTENCE CONSTRUCTION AND GRAMMAR

Tell most young persons including graduates to write a four hundred words essay or composition and it would be like placing a gun on their head. It would be a struggle for them to make a simple sentence and can hardly go a paragraph.

Do not be surprised to see them use abbreviated words or phrases used in social media texting. Instead of say ‘okay’, you are likely to see ‘ok’ or ‘kkkk’. They are not aware when to be formal or informal.

This is having a negative effect in their school works.

SECURITY CHALLENGES

Social media poses serious challenge to our young ones today. They easily trust strangers who sweet talk them into believing they mean well to them. They easily give out personal details to strangers and this has cost loss of money, property and privacy.

Some young persons have lost their lives or sexually assaulted when they visited strangers they made friends with on social media.

While writing this part of the article, I coincidental heard news from Bayelsa State where a 14 year old girl eloped from home to have sex with two boys she met on Facebook. She spent a month with them in a hotel and admits she was not forced to sleep with them.

FAKE ROLE MODELS AND SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS

 The internet and social media parades many celebrity role models and influencers. Majority of them display their luxury life and wealth. Their pages are glamorous and have hundreds and millions of followers for some. The followerships are mainly young persons.

Some of these role models have been found to be internet fraudsters and some have their wealth from questionable sources. Some celebrities have been exposed over time to rent clothes and houses or hotels for photo shoots and claim it’s theirs.

Some give advice they do not live by thereby misleading their fans just to gain popularity.  There was one that was recently exposed to be happily married but had been discouraging other ladies from marriage and not to be submissive. Another who had been promoting abstinence was later found to be happily pregnant outside of marriage and would make lots of photos on her pregnancy up to birth.

THE AGE PROBLEM

Young people today especially the millenials have a wrong view of age today. They feel the world is theirs and they are at their prime yet.

They describe a guy of 30 as an old man. To them your life ends when you are forty and they expect you to start using walking stick. I wonder how they would describe their parents of 60 years.  In our time, we hear ‘life begins at forty’. And really that still holds today.

It is that way of thinking that makes young persons to have an eye for quick wealth. Patience and endurance is not on their dictionary. They end up missing the normal life development stages.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Every nation has its own peculiar reasons for slide in attitudinal changes in its young persons. For Nigeria, bad leadership, sliding family and societal values is a major reason.

Parents no longer have time for their children. To get their children off their attention they get them hooked up to cable TV. Children go to school as early as 6am and would take lessons until 3 to 4pm. When they return, a home tutor is waiting and would take them up to 6pm and some go up to 10pm if there are home works to be done.

The child would not be given time off even on weekends and holidays. Then they go to tertiary institutions for another academic pressure that makes them lose joy and hunger for books.

If you go to university campuses today, you would not be surprise to find a 14 year old as an undergraduate. Why would a parent make a child skip classes so they would graduate too early in life.

Read Also: Meet Don ‘Moonlight Art’ Eseagwu And His Works

Parents hardly communicate with their kids. The children have no choice than seek solution and advice online. Google is now a solution to every problem including questions on changes In puberty and relationship – roles parents ought to play in a child’s early development.

In a future article, I would be expanding on the subject matter of what went wrong and how we can help.

Do you think this article was fair to the subject matter? Leave a comment behind.

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