How Reality TV is ruining the next generation sounds like a great concept for a Reality TV show. Get a bunch of 20-somethings, representative of different demographics, a suburban kid, an urban kid, an atheist, an evangelical Christian and a mixture of all ethnic groups, and make sure they are all Hollywood gorgeous, (no normal looking people, please). Then scantily dress them all to bare their shapely abs, and have them watch other reality shows, commenting on the reality as it passes by their screen. Then put them through contests similar to the reality shows they just watched, with the winner who gets the most votes getting their own celebrity reality show. The pitch is sort of Survivor meets Mystery Science Theater.
Many in the old fogey “get off my lawn” crowd have been debating what will ruin the next generation. Will it be the Internet, smart phones, social media, video games, You Tube or Realty TV? Strange, the old fogey crowd doesn’t seem to put themselves on the list, even though presumably they are the parents and grandparents of the next generation. The next generation is ruined crowd joins a long and distinguished list of previous generations in thinking those coming after them are being ruined. One imagines a Roman old fogey thinking that the new fangled codexs will ruin the next generation as they will not understand the beauty of unrolling a scroll to read. Radio will lead to destruction by distraction to the younger generation was common opinion in the 30s and 40s among those then in their 40s and 50s. Today's millennials will, in 20 and 30 years, complain about how those who come after reality don't get the beauty of smart phones and whine how Foursquare is now square,
To think the emerging world will ruin the next generation is built on a weird, unexamined idea, and a rather unChristian one. The underlining idea is that at one point one generation got it right. Of course, this generation will have its saints and sinners. It will tell great love stories and tragedies. What will save them and us will be love as it always has. When humans find love with each other and God then they are what Early Church Father Irenaeus of Lyons said almost 2,000 years ago, “Man fully alive is the glory of God.” The next generation’s challenge is the same challenge as all generations before it, finding love in a world that refuse to believe in love. That is the reality we all must confront.
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