It seems like all we do today is talk about societal issues in the world. The planet's burning. This group is feuding with that group. The rent is too darn high. Some issues, though, warrant more inches on the front page and more time on the airwaves. These social issues are highly consequential but under-discussed. Let's give some significant social issues in the world their due shine.
Lack of Critical Thinking
Societal critics have noted a lack of critical thinking as their leading concern for the future of America and humanity as a whole. Idiocracy has come to life, it seems,
One day, you meet an exceptional young person using their wits to make their mark on the world. The next, you see one of those videos where a slew of young people can't tell you what continent they're on or what 5 x 6 is.
It's not just sampling bias or your older years, making you more judgmental. So is it surprising that a generation that fears uncomfortable discussions can't form critical arguments?
Can you blame Americans for maxing out credit cards to buy flat-screen TVs? Or financing vehicles that cost more than a year's salary at a 15% interest rate? Our leaders have been doing the same thing for decades—forget entrepreneurialism. Debt has become the American way.
Americans are not taught any financial literacy in school. Credit scores, mortgages, credit cards, and Roth IRAs are conveniently left out while we learn about things that don't matter.
At some point, you have to take control of your finances. Or don't, and pass that debt to your kids when you croak. They'll love the inheritance.
The Artificial Dopamine Industry
Endless entertainment at our fingertips. Alcohol. Pot. Social Media. Crossfit. OK, Crossfit is fine, but constant access to short-term, hollow dopamine generators is distracting us from our humanity. Big Dopamine is the opiate of the masses, so let's talk about it.
Chronic Lack of Sleep
If it's not your social media addiction, it's your sleep apnea or work obligations. For one reason or another, many Americans walk around on far too little sleep. The Walking Tired are unfocused, inattentive, and shaving years off their lives.
Try keeping your cell phone outside your bedroom, investing in a CPAP machine (for you or your spouse), and setting a non-negotiable bedtime like you're seven years old again. Good sleep is worth all necessary sacrifices.
Recycling Is a Lie
Every week, you separate plastic from general garbage, bring out separate cans, and go to sleep at night believing you're helping save the sea turtles…and perhaps even the planet. You're a recycler, and you're proud.
Well, those who work up close with your recycled (and non-recycled) garbage say that most recycled material ends up at the dump. The issue is due to improper recycling and minimal effort to sort anything that's not clean, obvious plastic.
Don't let this shocking recycling reality get you in the dumps.
What was already an epidemic of loneliness has only been exacerbated by pandemic lockdowns, widespread anxiety, and endless sources of solo entertainment. Loneliness kills, but we can't fix it if we don't talk about it.
The United States ranks 125th internationally in literacy rates. A society that can't read is a society that will fall for anything.
Long-Term Social Media Addiction
We've already seen depression among young people skyrocket, with an unfortunate number ending their own lives. This is at least partially due to social media. But what will generations weaned on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat be like as adults?
Will their Instagram story-length attention spans prevent them from reaching their professional goals? Will debilitating self-image issues continue to propel the American birth rate lower? These are all pressing questions we have to consider.
Food, drinks, cell phones in our pockets, drinking, pot, the list goes on. It's difficult to pinpoint what has driven the decline in fertility rates. To save time, we might just say “all of it.”
When doctors are financially incentivized to see as many patients as possible or to prescribe certain drugs, that's a blatant conflict of interest. Non-preventative, for-profit healthcare is producing more expensive, less effective outcomes, and it's a real problem.
This thread inspired this post.