Going to Hell or Maybe Not

It’s so hard to find some balance. The world is changing with such swiftness that it’s hard to discern whether or not the balance is positive.
For instance, does the playing of violent video games lead kids to grow up more violent? In a way, it’s nothing new. When I was a kid, we played with cap guns, shot each other, and argued over whether a shot had been accurate, or which kid got shot first, or whether or not the kid who got shot was really “dead.”
I was running around at eight years of age pretending I was killing people. The kids playing, oh, “Call of Grand Theft Auto Duty 6” are doing the same thing, albeit more graphically. It’s still play-acting.
How about porn on the Internet? Does it bring out the monster in people and create a greater likelihood of sex crimes? Or does it just keep the demons occupied? It probably unearths the dark quirks buried in people’s psyches, but not as much as those actually harmed irreparably by actual human violence.
On balance, is it better or worse? It seems worse, but that perception is partially because we are so acutely aware — thanks to round-the-clock news, talk radio and social media — of everything that happens. A crisis that once would have rated three inches of wire copy on page 9 of the newspaper is now up-close and personal, with copters in the air and live vigils.
Kids are always crazy. My parents thought I was. They said they were when they were my age. The thought crosses my mind from time to time when I interact with kids now.
My theory is that, from one generation to another, kids are no more than 10-15 percent different, but the difference is what gets all the attention.
The world is changing so rapidly that it’s impossible to step back and evaluate. It’s all we can do just to keep up. There’s no time for reflection. That leads only to obsolescence.
“Hey, I got to go on Twitter … and Snapchat … and Instagram … and whatever became the rage overnight.”
But that’s what they said when the carriages started going horseless.

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