The youth energy crisis

I work with a lot of people in their 20s and 30s, and so many of them are constantly tired”. They proudly don battery icons for their social media statuses, struggle to turn up to a Zoom meeting, and are barely functional at life.

I’m not sure if this is a symptom of something greater or what. But something’s definitely off on a societal level, a sort of mass psychosis. More likely, it’s in a causal loop that plays off of a few other things going.

Some confounding factors, causes, related phenomena:

  1. Mental health hypochondria. Everyone and their brother is suddenly a mental health expert and self diagnosed with a laundry list of anxiety, depression, ADHD.
  2. Social media and screens. Being mostly off of social media and screens away in the evening has been eye opening. They keep you constantly stimulated, not letting you really rest. They’re anxiety inducing, and it seems like most of these low energy 20 somethings are staring at TikTok all night instead of sleeping.
  3. No unstructured downtime. I’m more convinced than ever that the average brain needs a lot of time just doing nothing in order to recover and cope with life. But most people tend to reach for their phones within **seconds* of not being stimulated.
  4. Weed, drugs, whatever. We’re obviously not the first generation to have discovered drugs, but we actually don’t know that much about the effects of the super-potent weed strains that are common these days. Throw in the cocktail of antidepressants, party pills, microdosing, or whatever and it might just be far more harmful than we suspect.
  5. Terrible diets. Processed food and lots of junk can’t be great.
  6. Existential void. Religion and spirituality have largely gone away, and if you were to ask about it among 20–30 year old tech workers, you’d mostly be met with derision or complete bafflement.

I dunno. There’s a lot more to flesh out here, but that’s a start.

It’s striking when I talk to people in their 40s. They tend to have kids, hobbies, normal lives. Then I talk to people their 20s who can barely function. Something’s wrong.