GP Tuition – ‘Young people today have never had it so good.’ Is this true of youths in your country?
Every generation of youths have their own enjoyable and fun life amidst the set of problems and difficulties they face. However, with greater affluence and rapid advancement in technology, it is often perceived that youth today enjoy a very good life. In contrast to that view, Singaporean youths actually have their own set of problems and difficulties to overcome, some of which outweighs the benefits of having an affluent life.
It is indeed true that youths in Singapore lead a better life materialistically nowadays as compared to the youths of the past with affluence resulting from economic prosperity in Singapore, state-of-the-art technological equipment, connectedness due to globalization, variety of goods and services provided, high level of entertainment, greater education and career opportunities. Through these benefits, youths in Singapore enjoy a higher standard of living as much more focus are placed on them as compared to youths in the past as it is in a youth-oriented society.
However, attaining a more affluent life has a price to pay – pace of life has quickened to a frenetic pace. Acute competition exists between youths in areas such as education and careers. The paper-chased society in Singapore forces youths to put academics above anything else, which leads to youths undergoing high level of stress and resorting to rising number of cases of depression among youths. Familial and peer relationships are also strained as a result of the social pressure they would face.
People tend to see that youths in Singapore these days never had it so good especially in terms of material goods and a comfortable standard of living. However, along with this impression comes the reality that youth also suffer from adverse consequences of living in a modern society which demands much more of them as they undergo a more frenetic way of life. The higher cost of living in our modern life means that there is a need for them to attain success in their academic development to ensure that they have a promising future in term of employment.
Connectedness as a result of globalization may not be a good thing at all as youths experience information overload. Excessive information provided on various online platforms creates more confusion in the minds of the youths, increasing their stress levels as they are mentally drained. It is often reputed that the youths today are less capable to concentrate and incapable in managing social relationships.
Greater levels of entertainment may not necessarily mean that the lives of youths will be much more enjoyable. With greater provision of entertainment comes exposure to various forms of inappropriate entertainment such as scenes displaying gratuitous violence and sex. Such take-in will affect youths in the long run by causing more trouble in their lives as we observe more rising number of juvenile delinquency and more youths addicted to drugs and other vices.
As youths nowadays place their time and effort on more things that are created as a result of advancement and things that are demanded of them. They become more individualistic as the activities they partake in are usually solitary. As such, they gradually lose the attachment to their peers and family, causing them to lead a life of increased loneliness and isolation, while in the pursuit of materialistic goods where relationships and emotions become an opportunity cost.
Youths in Singapore do experience immense stress psychologically and emotionally as a result of leading a more affluent life. The claim of youths today have never had it so good is generally made by the older generation probably with an accusatory tone that young people today are spoilt, pampered, ungrateful and apathetic. This may not be the case as youths do not naturally inherit all the benefits of an affluent life and the psychological and emotion burden youths carry is too immense to be visible.
This article is contributed by Mr. Simon Ng, founder and principal JC GP tutor of GP Tuition Bukit Timah, who has 20 years of teaching experience. Currently, Mr. Simon Ng provides specialized GP Tuition and Economics Tuition. Please visit our GP Notes page to read more of our JC General Paper articles.