During this integration experience, all of the students at my college have been paired off into groups that are comprised of all of their hall-mates. We were brought to these empty conference or classrooms, and there was this professor that served as an advisor for all of us incoming freshman. This woman was trying to facilitate discussion among the 40 of us, and most people were quiet and mumbly.
This strange crowd induced handicap prompted our advisor to ask us a question. She was wondering why our generation was so afraid to speak up among its peers. She was wondering why when we’d speak, we’d be quiet, or no one would speak. Well, the answer was apparent among us all, and it had to do with how our generation treats each other. Most will make a side comment if you say something incorrect, or if you keep talking, they will talk amongst themselves. This generation is full of snapchat, yik yak, and instagram, and all of these platforms with which we can share our new ‘friend’s’ ugly expression, or a video of something they’re doing while they aren’t noticing we’re filming, or any anonymous comment about how stupid they are. We are asked to answer questions around these people who may do these things. Honestly, our generation doesn’t respect the vulnerability that someone allows to share their thoughts about something within a group of 40 strangers. Instead, there are side comments, and that is all that those people commenting say within that room, they don’t put themselves in that same situation the person who they criticized did.
So some may say “well then that person shouldn’t speak up and put themselves in that situation, of course people are going to be mean and judgmental”. The result of that advice is the cause of this instance in which a professor had to ask why no one seemed to speak up. Because, they feel like they may as well not be stuck in that situation with judgmental peers.