by Robert Rios III
Now that I’ve come to that point in my life where I find myself uttering that eternally dreadful phrase, “When I was your age… <insert annecdote>,” I find myself in a state of bittersweet concern, yet hopeful. Concern because kids are now facing very serious issues at earlier ages, but hopeful because their intellect and experiences will prepare them to bring to light the change the future so desperately needs.
Last weekend, I came across a public access program called “YoungProducers,” featuring video sketches done by junior high school kids. The artist inside me was curious to see what their imaginations came up with, so I tuned in just as a very CSI-like skit was ending.
The next episode, confusing as it was, struck a chord with me, an all-girl cast, that I didn’t realize till the end, were playing boys…gay boys. You can imagine the scenario: boy meets boy, boy secretly likes boy, other boy secretly likes boy back, boys kiss in an empty classroom, get caught on camera-phone. After being outed and ridiculed, the main character was disowned by “his” mother; then distraught, overdosed on pills. I was slightly taken aback by the powerful message as the next vignette about playing hooky started. The next thing I know it was half-way through and there was a boy who slipped a girl a roofie, and then raped her.<Insert Jaw Drop> Yeah…
Intense as the scenes were, they’re not uncalled for, as it’s evident that kids are paying close attention to what adults do, and emulating things they see that might make them appear older. We’ve seen on the Internet how some kids can take things too far by mimicking the Mom’s and Dad’s dance moves or what they see on TV, not realizing how they are portraying themselves. We’ve seen bullies become victims of cyberbullying as a result of their own actions, and we now live in an age where infamy can be spread to millions of people in a few YouTube clicks.
Add to that the increasing accounts of teens sexting while still under aged, kids being kids don’t fully understand the repercussions of their actions. While we can’t blame them for that, as their brains have not fully matured, we must be careful because certain trends, while somewhat socially acceptable for adults, are clearly not intended for minors. Rebellious as kids may be, dialogue is a necessity for them to survive this new age of problems and scenarios.
All in all, I think that the “Young Producers” have the right idea, kids need to be helping other kids realize that they are not yet adults. While we all may have had that same impatience and thirst to grow up, there needs to be a filter, intent on the preservation of innocence. Since, like most of us, kids don’t like hearing the message from their elders, who better than their peers?
We can’t underestimate the intelligence of kids, their brains absorbing information at much higher speeds than our “back-in-the-day” counterparts. In fact, every child from here until the next supposed rapture or apocalypse, will be born into the age of computers and technology. By the time they are adults, technology will have advanced even further. It’s up to us now, those born in the 70s-80s and later, to reestablish some classic baby boomer values, with a 21st century cyber twist.
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of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.