I recently read the book entitled, “The Demise of Guys” and was totally shocked at the statistics reinforcing what I instinctively already knew in my head. As the author put it, “guys are flaming out”. Crashing and burning. Biting the dust. Well, I for one, am not letting my guys ages 15, 10, 8 and almost 6 “flame out”. Nope… over my dead body is that going to happen.
These guys are growing up in a world that would have no problem if they just completely wasted all the potential they have wrapped up inside of them. Just chewed them up and spit them out. These guys need a man that has been down the road a little further than they have been, to help lead the way and educate them about all the pitfalls out there. That is what a real man does right?
So why are guys going down in flames? Well, there are a number of contributing factors but the two biggest reasons fit into the same category: technology. Specifically, video games and online pornography.
The average young person will spend 10,000 hours gaming by age 21. What? With so many boys running around now with a gaming device in their front pocket, I’m not really that surprised. Every time there is a spare minute, out comes the video game and the time wasting begins. The author put this in context when he stated that it takes the average college student only half that time – 4,800 hours – to earn a bachelor’s degree.
Let’s see here… a college degree or hours of mind numbing gaming? Unfortunately, many guys are choosing the latter to their own demise. I’m not bashing the occasional virtual adventure on a winter day, but 10,000 hours? Come on.
The pornography business is picking up speed at a staggering rate and destroying guys left and right as it barrels down the tracks. One in three boys is now considered a “heavy” porn user, viewing nearly two hours of porn every week. Really? Seriously? Worldwide, pornography is almost a 100 billion dollar industry. This filth is peddled to anyone that will take a look, with the hope that they will take another look and yet another until they are stuck in an addictive cycle that destroys their ability to have normal interactions with others, especially those of the opposite sex.
Well, as disheartening as these statistics may be… take courage, I have a few simple solutions to consider:
First, boys need more to do. They need to be given more responsibility earlier on in life. How about some jobs around the house for heavens sake? It’s hard to game or get in trouble on the internet while you have a lawn mower or a paintbrush in your hand! Have them get off the couch or come out of their room, where they are more than likely gaming in seclusion, and do something productive. They might cuss you under their
breath when they are younger but I believe they will praise your name later in life. Shoot, maybe even sincerely thank you face to face! Wouldn’t that be nice? The men that have my respect are real men that know how to work hard.
Secondly, boys need some goals. A clear vision of what they could or should be doing with their time. If they aren’t gaming so much or looking at porn, that leaves a lot of time to do something worthwhile. So sit down with your son, nephew, friend, whoever, and help open their eyes to the many other meaningful things that they could be doing with their time. Read good books, learn how to play an instrument or take on a new
language. Get interested in a hobby like hunting or fishing or enroll them in some other organized sport. Maybe it’s weight lifting or running or mountain biking. Help them set some financial goals and teach them how to make good financial decisions. Help them understand that good things come to those that wait. Maybe it’s saving up for the car they might be dreaming of when they get into High School. As they set some goals and then make the effort to achieve those goals they will have an increased sense of self worth. Not some lame, fake, and fleeting self worth that comes from achieving another level on a video game or being momentarily aroused by yet another pornographic image. You know what’s going to happen if we can keep them out of this technology trap? They are going to do better in school, have better social skills, be more self-motivated,
learn how to work and make good money decisions. All in all, they are going to be more pleasant to be around. Bonus!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying to go on complete and total technology lock down. Don’t freak out and pile up the iPhones and start a bon-fire or anything. These little gadgets are totally amazing if used for the right purposes. We just need to make sure that these guys that we are raising are given some guidance so they aren’t the ones that get run over by this technological train barreling down the tracks.
The demise of guys? Well, for my 4 guys it’s going to have to be over my dead body.
Gregg Murset is the Founder of www.myjobchart.com and father of 4 boys and 2 girls.