Tuesday, 10 July 2018

The Youth & Us: Technology

Photo Courtesy: pixabay.com

I remember in primary school we had a mathematics teacher, Mr. Ruma, who whenever he walked in class, everyone would light up and enjoy his lesson to our bones and wish it would never end. 

We also had another teacher, Mr. Musa, who caned anyone who'd cough without his permission (metaphorically). The bell was our saviour in his classes. 

Mr. Ruma got the best performance of our class than any other teacher. And even when one would fail his class, they would feel bad and try their best afterwards. 

We were the same students for both teachers and more so, performed better in Maths of all subjects than any other. This is what leadership is all about.

A leader takes care of the people responsible for the results and Mr. Ruma, he did this for us and thus the results spoke for for itself. He created the right environment for us to succeed and Mr. Musa didn't. The difference, Empathy.

Through empathy, he understood us and knew where to work on so we could succeed. Unfortunately, for millennials (our current generation of youth born from 1982 onwards), elderlies only see their laziness, unfocused attitude, entitlement and can't keep a job qualities, but haven't understood why they exhibit them.

There are four major 'Whys' for this behaviour. And if this is your first time reading this, read on the first 'why' about Failed Parenting Strategies here. The next 'why' is Technology.

There is a chemical in our bodies called Dopamine. This chemical is responsible for the feeling you get after finding something you were looking for or after achieving a goal.  

That elation, that feeling you get after finding your keys, wining a game, crossing something from your to-do list or even tasting something sweet or delicious, that's dopamine.

This chemical is however also released by nicotine in cigarettes, by gambling and the intake of alcohol. It is actually the root cause of addiction for these activities because every time they are consumed, it feels good. 

Furthermore, majority of alcoholics; "walevi conc" discovered the numbing effects of this chemical when they were at their teenage years. 

The reason for this is that when we are young, the only approval we seek for is from our parents -- if they say no it's a no, if yes yallah. But when we get to teenage hood, our approval shifts to the outside world. That's why our dressing, behavior, changes so that we can 'fit in' 

This period is a very stressful one and is meant to teach us how to cope with other people and develop social skills.

So every time there was significant stress in the alcoholics' lives (financial, social, depression), instead of turning to a person for help, they turn to the bottle -- dopamine; makes them feel good.

Now here is where it gets interesting. The same chemical that is released by these drugs, is also released by cellphones and social media. 

We love to hear the sound of our notification exploding when we turn on the data; feels good -- dopamine. We go back to our posts to see how many likes we scored on it; makes us feel worthy -- dopamine. When we are down, we text ten of our friends simultaneously (hi, hey, Heyya, A.a, Alafu...); so that we feel lifted when they respond, guess what -- DOPAMINE. 

And you know what this has in common with alcohol, cigarettes and gambling...it's highly, highly addictive...

We have age and religious restrictions on all of these drugs, but we have none when it comes to cellphones and social media. 

It's the equivalent of opening up a liquor cabinet and telling youth, "Heyya, whenever this adolescence thing stresses you out, try the Vodka it'll dampen your pain." Translation, Not good. 

If you are the kind of person who looks at your phone first thing in the morning before you greet the people sleeping in the same room/house with you, you're addicted. If you walk with your phone in hand when you're moving from room to room in your apartment complex, you're addicted. If you can't stay without your phone in sight around you guess what, you're addicted.

And whilst we're on this topic of phone addiction, imagine you're sitted in a hall with people besides you and I'm standing on stage speaking to you on this. Now imagine I'm holding a phone in my hand whilst I speak to you. Do you at that moment feel as important to me as the phone I'm holding while I speak? 

No you do not. This is the subconscious power of the phone amidst human interaction. And that example is just an artificial environment( stage and audience.) Now how about every time you go out with friends, attend those important meetings with your superiors or have chats with others and you have your phone out beside you...this is why the youth claim they can't form deep meaningful relationships with others.

PS, and turning the phone upside down isn't more polite 😐

You see youth sitted together but everyone of them is glued to their phone screens. You can shout at them for such behavior but it's not just an addiction, it's a chemical addiction (dopamine). It's like shouting at an alcoholic or a smoker and expecting them to change. 

And the results of this addiction is the rise of depression among our youth because of how cellphones and social media has replaced social skills.  Thus youth don't know how to talk to others when stressed. The increasing rates of suicides and the new epidemic universities are dealing with of more youth taking a Leave of Absence due to depression is another issue. 

I personally had to push my graduation to retake a unit I missed due to depression. And these results are the extreme effects. The more likely ones are people skimming through life just, fine... "how's your friends? They're fine... Your job? It's fine..."

There are no deep meaningful relationships between friends, relationships and no fulfillment in life because the youth don't know how to share there problems, with their friends or others when they are stressed with life's demands. 

Friendship has become a relation where you know when your friends are to get something better to do, they'll cancel on you.

Such crucial and even life saving social skills was replaced by the temporary 'good feeling' of dopamine once a teenage year ago and now, it has become hardwired in their systems at the expense of human relation. 

And online support groups aren't the answer because the human touch has no share button. 

Technology when balanced in life, has no issue. But when used with no restriction, leads to addiction. And like every addiction, it wastes resources; your money, your time and ultimately, destroys relationships with others.

It is no wonder one is ready to live with a tiny budget on food but have credit and a connection for social media #red_flag 

So, we have a generation that, not by their own fault, grew up with failed parenting strategies and technology that has resulted to low self esteem and depression from poor social skills. 

For the world to get the most of them, it must understand these two 'Whys' and the other 2 to be expounded on after this in shaa Allah, and only then will it be able to generate a legacy of never before seen leaders of this millennia. 

In the end, it all boils down to Empathy. If you're the kind of guy who dreams to make a difference to the world, try it. I promise, it works. 


  1. How true is this?! 😥😥😥😥

  2. How I love reading your blog posts Yakhee

  3. May Allah bless you. You really inspire us

    1. Ameen yaa Rabb. Melts my heart to hear so, Jazakallah kheiran

  4. Maa shaa Allah bro, I hardly read your blogs to the end but now I feel how much I missed. In shaa Allah I'll check it more regularly, I'm posting this for my sisters at Tawheed Girls.

    1. Beautiful bro. I hope they breath a freedom from it 🍁