What is wrong with our youth?

By: Jennifer Pretty Aug 14, 2012
  Editorial
teenager peeing on homeless man

As I write this, I can hear my parents asking the same question about my generation and in all likelihood, their parents did the same about my parents’ generation. We probably committed any number of seemingly inappropriate offences, but I cannot possibly imagine any amount of eye rolling they did compares to the disgust many people are feeling right now after seeing the following video of a young man urinating on a homeless man in Toronto, Ontario.

For a brief moment I entertained the notion that it was a hoax, as has been suggested. But, until I learn otherwise, I am assuming this is legitimate.

I am not sure what angers me more: that this kid did this to someone who is clearly down and out, that he and his friends thought it was hysterical or that someone had the forethought to capture it on video and then post on the Internet. When did humiliating people become a favourite pastime? Another question, what on earth did this obviously defenceless man do to deserve such humiliation? Is our youth so depraved that this is what they have stooped to? In fewer than 15 hours, this video had garnered more than 150,000 views, been tweeted over 250 times and posted to more than 700 Facebook profiles. I only wish I were privy to the conversations taking place as people watched the video. Many probably watched, as did I, with their mouths gaped in complete disbelief!

I was however, curious to see how people commented on the article I read in the Toronto Sun. Some felt it was not a problem with youth, but with Black youth in particular. Some went so far as to blame it on upbringing and culture, as if race plays a part in how people treat one another. We are all guilty of treating others poorly. I have viewed videos of White youths committing equally egregious offences toward otherwise defenceless people. Others felt that it is a problem with young people in general. Some feel it’s a problem that only exists in Toronto and other large cities, that it is an urban issue. That assumes that people in the sticks lack the imagination to pull of stunts such as these. I am not buying that either.

I don’t know exactly what the problem is, and I suspect it is a combination of factors. With sites like YouTube, kids can garner their 15 minutes of fame by doing some pretty appalling things. Too much time on their hands, parents who are too tired and perhaps not as sophisticated with the online technology as are their kids, and just a blatant disregard for others around them, why wouldn’t young people pull stunts like this?

Am I way off to feel as disgusted by this video as I do? What are your thoughts about it and what are the underlying problems?

 

Until next time,

Peace, love and vitaminc C!

 

Jennifer Pretty began her career as the director of artist development for a well-known Canadian music label. Branching out on her own, she then started her own PR business “Pretty Media Management” planning and hosting various charity, entertainment and fashion events. As a dance and fitness class enthusiast Jennifer is a firm believer in the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. She also loves to cook, travel, spend time with family and friends and most importantly living life to the fullest!