The Issue of the Decline of Empathy among the Youth

Topics: Behavior

“The fact that empathy is declining means that there’s more fluidity to it than previously thought. It means that empathy can change It can go up” This observation comes from Sara H. Konrath from the article “What, Me Care? Young Are Less Empathetic“ by Jamil Zakit In fact, Zaki also mentions that, “thempathy levels have been declining over the past 30 years” Due to the increase in use of technology, “students are starting to become less empathetic” (Elmore). They are often so focused on social media, emails and text messages that they barely have time to actually pay attention to subjects that truly matter.

A few kids in this generation are sometimes used to getting what they want that when they see someone who is less fortunate than they are, instead of actually understanding what they are feeling, they just feel sorry for him or her. In society, if someone does something to make someone feel uncomfortable or something that harms them, they often [end to dislike them, instead of understanding where they are coming from and why they are doing what they are doing Empathy is notjust something people automatically have; empathy is something that can be learned overtime.

Just because empathy levels are decreasing, does not mean that there is no hope that it will ever go back up, According to the article, “Why Empathy is Declining Among Students and What We Can Do” author Tim Elmore gives five reasons for why empathy is declining towards students: Screen Time, Information Overload, Consequential Behavior, Virtual Reality and Role Models, Elmore mentions that, “As screen time goes up, empathy goes down.

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Follow it. You will find that the more a student is in front of a video, computer or phone screen, their level of empathy for people drops,” Overall, Elmore is explaining that students who pay more attention to technology tend to ignore information or people that that are much more important As personally observed, there was a couple out on a date at the malli I could see that the girlfriend was trying to talk to her boyfriend regarding issues with her best friend. But instead of listening to her, and trying to understand, he was on his phone the whole entire time Eventually, the girlfriend got upset and walked away from him.

It is understandable that technology is a very important aspect in our lives; however, it does not hurt to put the phone down for a couple minutes to listen to someone who needs comfort. Although Elmore discusses how technology can affect the decline of empathy, Jamil Zaki provides even more research from credible sources about how young people are becoming less empathetic, Professor of Psychology and author, Jamil Zaki, in his article, “What, Me Care? Young Are Less Empathetic” discusses why “i . ,empathy levels have been declining over the past 30 years.” Zaki provides his audience with a good amount of credible sources, such as: research from different universities and psychologists “WYou can‘t randomly assign people to a generation.” Relating to the current generation, kids seem to be getting almost everything they ask for As to previous generations, some kids had to earn the things they wanted instead of getting it right away.

This does not just relate to kids, it also relates to young adults When I see people on the streets, or someone who is not as fortunate as me, I usually just feel sorry for them instead of actually empathizing with them It is not the the fact that I was given everything I wanted as a child, it is the fact that] did not go through hardships to get something I wanted; In other words, I earned the things I wanted. It is sometimes hard to understand the hardship that people are going through when things seem to be given to us so easily Zaki discusses ways that empathy is declining, whereas, Jo Berry provides her own personal experience about feeling empathetic. In the Ted Talk, “Disarming with Empathy” by Jo Berry, Jo Berry illustrates how she met the man that was responsible for her father’s death during a conservative party conference held at the Grand Hotel in the UK As she sat with Patrick Magee, the man responsible for her father’s death, instead of automatically disliking him, she wanted to make sense of her father’s death and gain a sense of peace.

The more they continued talking; Patrick wanted to “know what she felt since he didn’t know who he was anymore” (Berry). He began to care about her, and wanted to understand what she was feeling, He felt “disarmed with her empathy,” Berry then continues to explain how “If she lived his life, she would probably do the same things he did,” She admits how “Every time we demonize someone, we lose a part of our humanity,“ It is a choicewSeparate a person from what they do and give them dignity.,.Humanity heals together.” As most people would do, if someone were to do something harmful to us, instead of caring for them, we automatically dislike them and not think about why they did it It truly takes a lot of courage to feel empathy for someone that hurt your Berry develops a very powerful message, instead of being upset, she suggests to “transform pain to peace.” If more people truly understood this message, people would have a better understanding of empathy instead of hate.

Similarly, as Jo Berry discusses her own personal experience, Dave Egger also discusses Zeitoun’s personal experience during Hurricane Katrina In the story, Zeitoun, author Dave Eggers describes Zeitoun’s experience before, during and after hurricane Katrina. While his family decides to evacuate to Baton Rouge before the hurricane, Zeitoun decides to stay in New Orleans to preserve his home and those of his customers. He believes that his house is sturdy enough to survive the hurricane, A lot of families, told in this story, also underestimated the strength of the hurricane, due to a previous hurricane that happened a while back. After the hurricane happened, instead of Zeitoun thinking about his own safety, he went out of his way to protect the rest of his community He used his canoe to rescue people from their houses. Finally, after witnessing tons of debris, dead animals and people, he came to realize that he wanted to leave and be with his family.

He finally began to feel the same way the rest of the people in his town felt, exhausted and scared. With the lack of experiencing something unlikely, no one is able to truly understand what it feels like to be in that certain position. In conclusion, despite the fact that levels of empathy are decreasing, there are still ways to prevent that, With people so used to getting what they want that once they see someone less fortunate, they only feel sorry for them, people getting distracted by technology, people hating instead of understanding, and people who only feel empathy after experiencing tragic are only the few reason to why levels of empathy are decreasing. With better understanding of where people are coming from and putting yourself in their shoes, empathy levels will slowly begin to increase.

Works Cited

  1. Berry, Jo, “Disarming with Empathy: Jo Berry at TEDXExeter,” YouTube. YouTube, 3 June 2013.
  2. Web. 28 Apr. 2015. Eggers, Dave, Zeitoun. San Francisco: McSweeney’s, 2009. Print.

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The Issue of the Decline of Empathy among the Youth. (2022, Oct 14). Retrieved from

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