Interesting stuff. I'm a Thai-American male, adult Gen Zer and I grew up with the internet (the internet's almost like a mirror/AI reflection of the figment of my imagination). I always had problems with shyness and social anxiety (possibly due to my genetic disposition and how I was raised, I'd almost call my parents emotionally stunted). I personally think that the internet exacerbated it and I have to agree with Jean Twenge that the internet's has locked me at level 0 in terms of social skills (I did have a number of friends in elementary school, but with each passing school level, my social skills just got worse and worse, likely as my internet use increased in the early 2010s; I was in elementary then). It was fine for a time (at least online-wise), until 2019/20 and the political meltdown and the Youtube/Google algorithms became shit to the point that you can't search for anything and always getting left-wing videos whenever I try to search for something political, which is also why I was at first a leftist from 2018 until earlier this year.

My theory on why Gen Z is so left-wing can be explained in the same way that history is written. Right now, I'd say that 99% of history/political creators on social media are written by younger people who lack life experience. There is certainly social pressure to conform, predisposed by younger people's tendency to support left-wing political views (which is why in a, say, 60/40 liberal conservative situation, it feels more like a 80/20 situation online). Once there are more older influencers, I think we'll start to see this leftward trend go away. I went on a two and a half month trip to Thailand to visit family earlier this year and that trip led me to leave the left. I had a flyover stop in Saudi Arabia and seeing the family oriented optimistic culture there played some role in my political transformation. I also stayed off social media for long periods of time there which undeniably played a role. I would say that I'm now a centrist/center right.

The one thing in which I am annoyed by is any little Conservative dissient from younger influencers means that other more shouty influencers call you out for being a "Fascist/Sexist/Racist/etc..." just for bringing up statistics that challenge the left/liberal/progressive worldview. It really gaslights young Conseratives and Centrists into pressuring them to support the left.

At the end of the day I'm still shy and socially isolated and still needs to get off the internet more (especially since I came back from my Sabbatical). I'll end my tirade by pointing to two stories: the viral French short film from the early 2010s "Oppressed Majority" and John Lennon. In Oppressed Majority, which is a feminist piece but has very Enlightening anti-feminist parts if you take certain scenes out of context of the film, the male protagonist, after being sexually assaulted by women, tells his breadwinner wife, "I'm tired of this fucking feminist world. It's like our brothers fought for nothing." As for the life of John Lennon, in his Beatles and 70s solo days he was an asshole who said whatever was on his mind to the public. He also took drugs and made himself much more miserable than he ought to have been. But in his final years, he mellowed out and wrote some of the best songs he ever written in his life, songs like "Women" and "I'm Stepping Out". He became a good father and a good husband and in his 1980 interviews, you can tell that he was content with his life, almost looking fondly on his earlier days yet looking down on it too. John Lennon at 40 is how I feel about social media's future, yes there's going to be a lot of hell for a number of years, but at a certain point, once those older influencers become 40 to 50 year old parents, they'll mellow out and preach for peace and understanding to the younger kids. It won't be a perfect system, but it will be much better then than today.

No, what am I thinking? I think it'll still be pretty shit.

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I think you mean Arnold Kling.

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One thing that gets overlooked IMO is how more perceptive we are of the world’s issues these days. A hundred years ago, things like the war in Ukraine or the refugee crisis would seem like detached affairs that have zero bearing in anyone else’s life because for the most part they don’t. Now, in less than thirty seconds you can open up half a dozen articles detailing their political consequence and the horrors experienced by their fellow man. All of this is in the kind of detail that is nearly impossible to find in any other time period due to how far information tech has come.

In terms of general welfare, we live in probably one of the best ages humanity has ever had. Yet we see so many of the flaws of our society that it seems worse than it actually is because we’re comparing it to a past that we really don’t know as well as we think we do.

I wish I knew how to get people my age to look past the bad and see the good for once, but negativity sells for a reason. Maybe someday cynicism will turn “cringe” and they’ll adapt.

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