Do the youth have it easy?

19 06 2011

A teenager’s response to this pertinent question

I have read with interest a letter in this newspaper pointing out how life is pretty easy for young people nowadays. But even with all those labour-saving devices and with more opportunities for study and leisure than in the past, are we happier than our parents or grandparents were before?

This question made me think about young people’s lives. With the advent of new technology it will be easier for everyone to do almost everything with less effort and less waste of time. In the foreseeable future I can imagine young students without heavy bags, carrying all their school materials in a handy little laptop. I can see people booking their flight to New York or Tokyo with a simple click.

Of course, life could seem to be easier nowadays, but are we really sure that “easier” always equals “happier”? In the world where we are living, it is possible for everyone to know everything about what is happening in other parts of the world. Everyone can keep in contact with their friends living miles away from them. We can easily get information, pictures and sounds through mobile phones, computers and televisions. The question is: what have all these things got to do with happiness?

Nowadays we are surrounded by an infinite amount of information about everything and technology has invaded our lives, making it more complex and, sometimes, more difficult. I don’t think that now young people are happier than in the past, even though they have so much. On the contrary, I think that because they have got so much, young people have more difficulty in having fun and enjoying every single moment of their lives, perhaps constrained by societal expectations and new technology.

by Alberto