Tuesday, December 19, 2023

A Christmas Gift?

So the pollsters have given us a bit of a Christmas gift.  It would seem after decades and years of seeing the pendulum swing toward more support, there is precipitous decline in that support -- at least according to information in a newer poll.  Support for same sex marriage has dropped within every generation but especially among the Gen Zers.  That is not the only thing.

Gen Z and Millennials distrust the government (only 34% of each generation do -- half that of the Boomers).  “Changes in technology, culture, and family life have led Generation Z to have distinct formative experiences. Compared to previous generations, Gen Z adults participated in outdoor activities less often, had fewer romantic experiences, and were much less likely to hold down a part-time job,” the poll’s authors wrote. “They have less experience participating in religious communities than any previous generation. Whether social media or video games, technology has played a much more significant role in their adolescence than for any previous generation. As technological and societal changes accelerate, the differences between generations will grow, making them more relevant.”  

 A number of political shifts were noted -- primarily among Gen Z, including changing attitudes on gay marriage, feminism, political affiliation and belief in political leaders. Support for gay marriage among Gen Z fell from 80% in 2021 to 69% in 2023.  The poll was conducted among a random sample of 5,055 adults aged 18 and up in the United States. The poll consisted of interviews conducted between Aug. 11 and Aug. 20.  

It seems to signal a shift but whether this is a blip on the radar or something significant remains to be seen.  One of the keys to this is in the final sentence from those who undertook the poll.  As technological and societal changes accelerate, the differences between generations will grow.  Why is this important?  Could it be that unlike previous generations in which the home, the family, and the school were the formative agents upon the individual, technology, social media, and society as a whole are taking a greater role in the forming of beliefs and values?  That is something to think about.  It does not bode well for us that the primary formative influences are shifting away from faith and upbringing and family to the fast pace of technological change and the influence of society as a whole.  For Christians, this should be alarming and may well diminish any relative good news cited by the poll in the first place.



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