More kids today are looking outside the home for values, happiness and structures in their lives. They happen to find shopping malls the most ready and suitable place to find ‘what they are seeking for’. Clearly, with no hard observations needed, todays’ teens are more materialistic, less realistic and quite a lot harder to motivate than the generations before them.
And what values are they gaining from the shopping mall? One is the illusion that they already have it all. Surrounded by hundreds of fashion shops, food kiosks and large department stores, it’s not hard for them to think that the world’s goods are within their grasps. This shows how teens, especially those from the middle class, know so little about poverty and the potential for it. When asked about being ‘hungry’, a giggle becomes a ready response, along with careless statements like, “I’m always hungry”.
More so, teens today believe that technology will guarantee their happiness. With iPod, PSP, PS3, Xbox and all the ‘must-die for’ gadgets they see on TV and electronic shops, makes them feel they don’t ‘belong’ if they don’t own one. The market is filled with the latest technology guaranteed to ‘make life easier’, and kids today could not even live without a mobile phone. But parents, who are inclined to waive the control of their kids, are too happy to satisfy their wants. No wonder companies are too willing to spend over-the-top on their marketing and advertising. They would earn it back anyway. What a vicious cycle.
Would you let technology and material things take over your kids?