Focus on selfies unfair judgements of today’s youth

It seems that today’s society will go out of its way to try to condemn the current generation. People either think we are lazy, that we are technologically obsessed or that we are wasting our youth. It is, of course, easier to call to fault the individuals who are living in that generation rather than those who left it a mess to deal with in the first place. Yet, it is not often brought into the spotlight just how progressive our society is, how open-minded and compassionate, how we are processing information at a rapid fire pace due to new technology.

A recent and disheartening example came after the violence in Murrysville, Penn. at Franklin Regional High School. Amidst a stabbing rampage, sophomore Nate Scimio was having a moment of heroics. According to what a fellow sophomore told USA Today, Scimio protected her and another friend as the attacker ran throughout the school stabbing at its inhabitants. By the time the event had been contained, 20 people had been sent to two nearby hospitals, including Scimio who was stabbed in the arm following his quick thinking. He was also reported as having pulled the fire alarm, alerting all students to the danger.

Twenty were injured – 19 students and a security guard – and at least 12 were hospitalized with serious injuries.

Despite this, what lit people up the most was the selfie that Scimio later took of himself while in the hospital, fresh gauze on his arm. Immediately people were pointing fingers and sticking their noses in the air. How ridiculous of this teenager to take a picture of himself while in the hospital? How could he perform such a trivial act after such a violent one took place? This kid is obviously the downfall of our society.

Nate Scimio was wounded in the stabbing of 19 other people at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Penn. Sixteen-year-old Alex Hribal was charged with the attack on April 9, according to The Boston Globe.
(Photo courtesy of Nate Scimio’s Instagram account)

Take note, for those who have not already seen the picture, that Scimio did not tag it, did not reference what had just happened, simply stood in front of the mirror and snapped a shot. Despite this, people were immediately prepared to demonize the action. He had just potentially saved lives, had just possessed quick thinking that many of us would not be able to click into in similar chaos and all he did was take a picture.

Scimio was a hero yet people are blasting him for being immature. Society is so ready and willing to speak poorly of younger generations that people often exaggerate the bad and ignore the good. Or, they look at the most inconsequential moments rather than addressing the real, threatening issues.

So Scimio is the poor representation of today’s culture, not the teen that ran through the hallway of the school stabbing at kids? We can attack a selfie before we take a hard look at violence? Shootings, stabbings: people are falling victim to a society that has allowed violence to persevere for much too long and the youngest generation is the greatest casualty in the mess.

So yes, let us call out the laziness, the obsessive need to always be attached to our phones, the way in which we are always thinking about our next step, but let us not forget who made us, what is driving us, and what we were left to deal with from older generations. We did not start the mess, we are just trying to cope with it.