Young People, What Are They Thinking?

Have you noticed how young people act differently to the rest of us ‘oldies’? I am talking about the latter half of the millennials (Gen-Y's) and the beginning of the Pluralists (Gen-Zs). What are they thinking? Lots of things as it turns out.

The brain of a person aged 18 to 25 is going flat out, they are thinking of so many things at one time that they often have difficulty slowing their brain down at night time to get to sleep. Their ability to focus on one topic for an extended period is more difficult than earlier generations. They simply have got lots of other things to think about!

Young people also communicate quite differently. Have you noticed the limited facial expressions? Sometimes it is difficult to read their mood given there is often ‘one face for all emotions’. Their sentences are also much shorter, sharp and to the point.

Why? Technology, pure and simple. Because the majority of their communication is conducted through texts, Instagram, snap chat, etc., they have learned the art of saying a lot in a few words. For example, if they don’t like something they will use just two words, the last word being “it”, “you”, or “off”.

I was fascinated to learn that this group often only hear the first 8 to 10 words of your sentence then only selected words thereafter. Since reading this research over a year ago, I have been trying to debunk it – so far I have had no success.

The problem with this type of communication is that it is far too short to allow the natural healing processes of socialisation to occur. They are fighting thousands of years of talking with others for extended periods which is beneficial for the emotional brain. Altruism, spirituality, and mindfulness are all part of socialisation which we all need in order to stay well. Perhaps that is why suicide is so prevalent among this age group.

They have wonderful ideas, have access to more information than any other generation, are sensitive and caring, are environmentally aware, want to save the planet, and have wonderful problem-solving abilities. They just don’t want to tell you about it.  

It is important for those outside of this group to engage in face-to-face dialogue with them. Just do so in short sentences.