Is it odd for a teenager to become LESS cynical as they grow up?

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generals3:

McMullen:
Cynicism is thought to be a sign of maturity, but it is really just immaturity plus a little bit of knowledge about the world, plus petulance that things are not the way the cynic would like them to be. Becoming less of a cynic is a sign of growing up.

Actually i'd say cynicism is the first step to maturity. When you're a child you are not conscious of all the crap going on in the world (murder, corruption, pollution, etc.) and than when you grow older you are more and more conscious of those things and since they're new they hit hard. The consequence is cynicism. But than as you grow even older you get used to reading about that crap and you just stop caring. Basically it goes from : blissful ignorance to cynicism to apathy.

No, not apathy (That's a VERY cynical viewpoint). You start realizing that for all the shit out there, there's also a lot of good - moreso than the shit, usually. And you see ways you can likewise make a difference and make the world a better place.

Cynical and apathic people drag idealistic aims down. Me? I consider my idealism tempered with cynicism. Nobody's perfect, deal with it. But we can all make the world a better place, as long as we're aware of the obstacles in our way.

generals3:

McMullen:
Cynicism is thought to be a sign of maturity, but it is really just immaturity plus a little bit of knowledge about the world, plus petulance that things are not the way the cynic would like them to be. Becoming less of a cynic is a sign of growing up.

Actually i'd say cynicism is the first step to maturity. When you're a child you are not conscious of all the crap going on in the world (murder, corruption, pollution, etc.) and than when you grow older you are more and more conscious of those things and since they're new they hit hard. The consequence is cynicism. But than as you grow even older you get used to reading about that crap and you just stop caring. Basically it goes from : blissful ignorance to cynicism to apathy.

Hence, immaturity plus a little knowledge. When you're mature enough to deal properly with these discoveries, you stop being cynical.

Scow2:

No, not apathy (That's a VERY cynical viewpoint). You start realizing that for all the shit out there, there's also a lot of good - moreso than the shit, usually. And you see ways you can likewise make a difference and make the world a better place.

Cynical and apathic people drag idealistic aims down. Me? I consider my idealism tempered with cynicism. Nobody's perfect, deal with it. But we can all make the world a better place, as long as we're aware of the obstacles in our way.

But it is apathy to a certain degree. I mean you can be as "green" as you won't but Climate Change is still happening, if you would still care a great deal about it it would be rather depressing wouldn't it? Heck it might even be more depressing because it is happening despite all your efforts. Same goes for murders, corruption, etc. There are so many things most people can barely affect that often apathy is the only way out of cynicism. Now i don't necessarily mean total apathy as in "you don't care at all" but more as in "you stopped paying attention to it as much as you did and learned to live with the crap".

Wait till you hit 20 and write back. I didn't become so pessimistic until around 20/21. Then....I WAS in love from ages 17-20 so I had little to be sad about. I guess when I felt that ultimate darkness, that heartache, that broken soul feeling. Well who knows what I would have been like had that event not happened, I guess I would certainly look at things differently had my teens been different.

It isn't easy being terrified of the only important thing in this world.

Froggy Slayer:
I only ask because a lot of the teenagers I know become the 'life is pain and the world is going to shit and nothing even matters in the world type', and yet I've actually become more in love with the world and in general more idealistic as I'm getting older (I'm 17, if anyone is wondering).

Is this an odd thing, or is it just that negative people become like black holes and suck all of the attention upon themselves, meaning that people with a more positive outlook aren't really noticed?

its not an odd thing.

you experienced just the hormon rollercoaster ride of your hormones during puberty.

during that you might become a passive agressive, teen angst ridden(exactly why its called teen angst) douche nozzle without noticing.

once your body starts to find its "rhythym" or to deal with the "new" hormone release in your body you start to see things "clearer" and realise that you were scared for nothing and acting like a douche to everyone.

so chill out and join the club of adults. we like to talk how everything goes downhill with our youth from time to time...

Naw you're normal

That's actually a good thing. Never let go of your youth.

generals3:

Scow2:

No, not apathy (That's a VERY cynical viewpoint). You start realizing that for all the shit out there, there's also a lot of good - moreso than the shit, usually. And you see ways you can likewise make a difference and make the world a better place.

Cynical and apathic people drag idealistic aims down. Me? I consider my idealism tempered with cynicism. Nobody's perfect, deal with it. But we can all make the world a better place, as long as we're aware of the obstacles in our way.

But it is apathy to a certain degree. I mean you can be as "green" as you won't but Climate Change is still happening, if you would still care a great deal about it it would be rather depressing wouldn't it? Heck it might even be more depressing because it is happening despite all your efforts. Same goes for murders, corruption, etc. There are so many things most people can barely affect that often apathy is the only way out of cynicism. Now i don't necessarily mean total apathy as in "you don't care at all" but more as in "you stopped paying attention to it as much as you did and learned to live with the crap".

Climate change may or may not be man-made, but if there's "Nothing we can do about it", it's not a choice of "Despair" or "Not Care" - See it as an opportunity. We shall adapt, and overcome its challenges, and, like everything else on this planet, use it to our own purposes. Climate is ALWAYS changing. Our world isn't static. I won't touch the other situations you mentioned, since you only touched on them.

Your viewpoint here is highly cynical, and implying that EVERYONE's must be, when that's not the case.

Everyone's different. I tend to veer from being hopeful and happy to being bitter and cynical every couple of months. Some people are depressive, some people are optimistic, some people change over time. I wouldn't worry about it.

From the ages of 11 to 18 I wasn't cynical or anything. I was more like....apathetic. I just didn't give a shit about being cynical or optimistic. I just sort of acknowledged facts without making any judgment as to their value.
I was so extremely scientifically minded and aware of the grand scope of the universe that nothing really mattered to me.

At 18 I suddenly got broadsided by....good. I became the ultimate Knight In Shining Armor, altruistic, humble, caring, force for good...
(Love, man - it's the most powerful thing in the 'verse.)
So that lasted from 18-23.

From 23-26 I've become the Knight In Sour Armor to various degrees.
Now my worldview can sort of be summed up like this:
"Ernest Hemingway once wrote, 'The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.' I agree with the second part." - William Somerset, Se7en

I went from apathetic, to optimistic, to cynical, to optimism in spite of cynicism.

Depends on when you started puberty sometimes... In my case by age 17 I was over the 'fuck the world I'm a grown up nao!' Phase and into the more, Hmmm 'who am I?' and 'lets explore things about myself and others', 'life is so interesting...' optimism you're talking about.

Where as my sister has been a moody teenage >bleep< nearly up until age 19.

It varies.

Everyone snaps out of it for better or for worse, and it's a precursory sign of the person you'll ultimately end up being. If you feel optimistic? Good. Hold onto it, you're going to need that barricade to deal with life as you move on, and that streak will end up saving you in the face of disappointment and strife.

It's called growing out of teenage angst. Don't worry, there's nothing wrong with you.

I used to be a self proclaimed cynic, now I've realized that expecting the worst of people is a bit unhealthy, and can lead to bigotry if left uncontrolled. I'm still a bit apprehensive about people's actions, but I've come to look on the brighter side instead of looking for s#*% in the world to point at.

Well no, I mean, the world is the same shitty place, but being a teenager generally sucks and teenagers suck. So yeah I'd say it's natural if your cynicism subsides a bit when you're done sucking, being in a situation that sucks, and being forced into social scenarios with other people who are also prone to suck.

Froggy Slayer:
I only ask because a lot of the teenagers I know become the 'life is pain and the world is going to shit and nothing even matters in the world type', and yet I've actually become more in love with the world and in general more idealistic as I'm getting older (I'm 17, if anyone is wondering). Is this an odd thing, or is it just that negative people become like black holes and suck all of the attention upon themselves, meaning that people with a more positive outlook aren't really noticed?

Just wait til you start a career, don't like it/burn out/hate your company, have tons of bills, mountain of debt, etc. Any teenager talking about how awful life is, they're drama queens.

Slightly related: anyone remember the family guy where they show the teenage kids in highschool going "Man, I've got so many problems." And then someone starts singing; "Highschool is such a serious thing... these problems matter." I laughed my ass off.

Honestly, what do young people have to look forward to? You're starting off your life in debt, you will be living with your parents til god knows when, you will have no assets for a looong time, you will be most likely still paying off your mortgage when you retire, you will probably not have social security- or if you do it will be a joke compared to now. The price of everything will be ridiculous. Jobs will be scarce. Robbing and stealing will become a legitimate way to provide for your family.

Seriously, the future is fucking bleak.

Xanadu84:
We live in an age in which an electronic signal will be sent to satellites in space and back, carrying millions of points of data a second, and be perfectly decoded into a high rez image by a machine performing millions of calculations a second, so I can see a funny picture of a cat on my phone while i'm waiting for a bus.

Not impressed.

Smart phones are garbage tech.

So in 20 years they managed to take my 486 DX2 66mhz PC and shrink it down to fit in a cell phone. The experience is often every bit as slow and annoying.

Real technology is real advancement, not just shrinking circuitry. All this touch screen junk has done is stunt children's social development and understanding of the world beyond a sleek UI that feel in control of.

Sleekit:

Keoul:
It's not weird
Teenagers are going through puberty, the moodiest time of their lives. They'll cheer up after that then fall into depression for their mid-life crisis.
All part of the plan.

pretty much bang on the money.

as a 40 something imo the best bit is maybe mid to late 20s to mid to late 30s.

at that age you've usually got a decently balanced handle on things (you'll probably have learned "you don't know everything" "the hard way" at least once or something :P ), are reasonably confident (but not too full of ego...), are still usually "free" enough to be able to take risks and fit enough to thoroughly enjoy doing so.

use it well.

its a cliché and i apologise for stating it but life really isn't a rehearsal.

ofc that assumes you avoid having a "quarter-life crisis"...

Too late...

"What am I going to do for the rest of my life? I can't and don't want to just live with my mom for the rest of my life like that loser on big bang theory. Oh god i'm not ready! I might never be ready! I am going to be a massive failure who piddles away his youth only to regret it for the remainder of his life!"

Scow2:
[Climate change may or may not be man-made, but if there's "Nothing we can do about it", it's not a choice of "Despair" or "Not Care" - See it as an opportunity. We shall adapt, and overcome its challenges, and, like everything else on this planet, use it to our own purposes.

I've stopped caring too. I care enough to keep going to work every day and do what I set out to do in my life, but I'm stockpiling guns and ammo in my spare time because I do not believe society as we know it will make it much longer. Everyone has always said that for thousands of years, but there have never been 7 billion people on the planet when THEY said it, there have never been the kinds of challenges they faced in food, water, energy, climate change, globalization and loss of control over the economy. This truly is a unique point in human history, and you should be worried.

Every day will be like any other, until the next day it suddenly isn't. For some people they probably feel like it's already happening, broke, can't find work, no help, lashing out.

I don't weep for the end of society though, I don't see much difference between full on Mad-Max and now. The biggest difference is instead of someone bullying you in highschool until you kill yourself, they'd just kill you. People find creative ways to be the confrontational, nasty animals they are in society. Sometimes I wish we'd just drop the act anyhow.

I believe Stephen Colbert said it best about cynicism in young people,

"Don't be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don't learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying yes begins things. Saying yes is how things grow. Saying yes leads to knowledge. "Yes" is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say yes."

DoPo:
Yes, there is something wrong with you. Please, report to the nearest Teenage Watch Administration Team for immediate assistance. Your Directive for Internal Correction Keeping module seems to have failed and you would now need to do more Behavioural Intervention - Teenage Counselling Habilitation and Immersive Neurological Grounding.

what you did there.

I see it.

I see the code.

xDarc:

Xanadu84:
We live in an age in which an electronic signal will be sent to satellites in space and back, carrying millions of points of data a second, and be perfectly decoded into a high rez image by a machine performing millions of calculations a second, so I can see a funny picture of a cat on my phone while i'm waiting for a bus.

Not impressed.

Smart phones are garbage tech.

So in 20 years they managed to take my 486 DX2 66mhz PC and shrink it down to fit in a cell phone. The experience is often every bit as slow and annoying.

Real technology is real advancement, not just shrinking circuitry. All this touch screen junk has done is stunt children's social development and understanding of the world beyond a sleek UI that feel in control of.

If your PC from 20 years ago was capable of doing the sorts of things that smartphones can do today, you probably should have told someone about that technologically advanced alien race that gave you a computer.

Froggy Slayer:
I only ask because a lot of the teenagers I know become the 'life is pain and the world is going to shit and nothing even matters in the world type', and yet I've actually become more in love with the world and in general more idealistic as I'm getting older (I'm 17, if anyone is wondering). Is this an odd thing, or is it just that negative people become like black holes and suck all of the attention upon themselves, meaning that people with a more positive outlook aren't really noticed?

It isn't odd at all m8. As a matter of fact it is quite normal, though for some it happens in their twenties. The only reasoning I am able to come up with (without doing some research, so this is pure theory) is that you are in the stages of your learning cycle where things begin to tie together. You are learning of the beauty inherent to the world, and it only grows as you get older. Unfortunately sometimes this point is lost underneath the rabble that is our day to day lives. Many people are forced to work horrible jobs that they hate to make ends meat, and others are just treated poorly. This can override that unifying feeling that you are beginning to feel with the world around you.

Either way, I hope you continue to feel unified with your world. It is a wonderful thing you have been granted (life that is), and I hope you can come to appreciate it fully. While you do so, please remember that there are others for whom this message has been buried under the heaps of crap piled upon them, and though it isn't your responsibility, you should really try to life some of that burden for them (but not all, it is important for those in need to make the last push themselves to freedom, otherwise the cycle will repeat).

Xanadu84:

xDarc:

Xanadu84:
We live in an age in which an electronic signal will be sent to satellites in space and back, carrying millions of points of data a second, and be perfectly decoded into a high rez image by a machine performing millions of calculations a second, so I can see a funny picture of a cat on my phone while i'm waiting for a bus.

Not impressed.

Smart phones are garbage tech.

So in 20 years they managed to take my 486 DX2 66mhz PC and shrink it down to fit in a cell phone. The experience is often every bit as slow and annoying.

Real technology is real advancement, not just shrinking circuitry. All this touch screen junk has done is stunt children's social development and understanding of the world beyond a sleek UI that feel in control of.

If your PC from 20 years ago was capable of doing the sorts of things that smartphones can do today, you probably should have told someone about that technologically advanced alien race that gave you a computer.

Well to be fair, lolcats hadn't been invented yet.

All of the technologies already existed though, including touch screens and wi-fi. They just hadn't been shrunken down into something you could carry in your pocket. I say again, whoop-dee-shit for smart phones.

I thought that was the way it was supposed to happen. When you become a teenager you're just starting to get some understanding of the world, once you're older you have more of a perspective so it doesn't all seem as shallow and depressing, not only that you also probably understand your fellow man more so you might not look down on people as much and instead have more empathy towards them.

"Oh I know how that feels, he couldn't really help it, no way he could have known"
versus
"Wow that guy's an idiot. How could he do something that stupid."

If you've been through enough to understand why people do the things they do you'd be less inclined to look down on them for it.

Xanadu84:
We live in an age in which an electronic signal will be sent to satellites in space and back, carrying millions of points of data a second, and be perfectly decoded into a high rez image by a machine performing millions of calculations a second, so I can see a funny picture of a cat on my phone while i'm waiting for a bus. Also, we live in an age in which a mass murder or heinous crime is considered absolutely shocking and not, "Tuesday". We live in an age in which the idea of dying from a cold or a broken bone seems strange. We live in the most amazing time ever to be alive. So amazing that the only thing outpacing our advancements is our expectations. It only makes sense that as you leave a childhood where cynicism is cool, that you appreciate how good we have it, and how great the world has become.

/thread, honestly.

I don't think everyone completely stops being cynical - I've got some vitriol for the games industry, for instance - but that teenage cynicism becomes more of a tool than an affectation. It's something you can ignore when things are clearly going well, and something that might change into a lucid outlook on life if you develop it into a sharp socio-political eye.

That's the hard part. I know adults who, well into their sixties, still play the "politicians are bullshit anyway!" card. That's bottom-line cynicism. You can go past that, however, if you understand your local parties, their platforms, their goals and their average voters.

That's where I think I am. Politicians aren't bullshit - they're stuck in this merry-go-round of idealism, backpedaling, rare and precious moments of honesty and tons of ass-kissing. A lot of politicians are genuinely nice guys; what they do can tend to bring out the worst in people, unfortunately.

Xanadu84:
We live in an age in which an electronic signal will be sent to satellites in space and back, carrying millions of points of data a second, and be perfectly decoded into a high rez image by a machine performing millions of calculations a second, so I can see a funny picture of a cat on my phone while i'm waiting for a bus. Also, we live in an age in which a mass murder or heinous crime is considered absolutely shocking and not, "Tuesday". We live in an age in which the idea of dying from a cold or a broken bone seems strange. We live in the most amazing time ever to be alive. So amazing that the only thing outpacing our advancements is our expectations. It only makes sense that as you leave a childhood where cynicism is cool, that you appreciate how good we have it, and how great the world has become.

+1 internets. Seriously.

OT: Also 17 I have noticed that I'm also less cynical.

I would probably say I am cynical myself but not in an "edgy" teen way such as "the world sucks and there is no reason to do anything" but more from a super critical standpoint. I think critical would be a better way of describing it, I usually detest "edgy" kids.

I don't see how being cynical about the world or being positive about the world has anything to do with how mature someone is. Cynism isn't a sign of growing up, nor is it a sign of immaturity. It's putting what you've seen/been through in life into context. Someone that's been through a lot of shit in his or her life may still be cynical when they hit the age of 40. Would you call them immature? Ofcourse not.

Well I obviously started being less cynical after bullying stopped. Also after all the hating on "edgy" kids I heard, I took is as a hint.

It's not odd, it's life. It will happen for everyone, you're just fortunate to have it happen sooner. Makes life easier when you take it in stride.

I got less cynical, but that could be because I was cynical at 12 so I could only get less cynical after that.

Well, this was at least the hope of my parents.

Froggy Slayer:
I only ask because a lot of the teenagers I know become the 'life is pain and the world is going to shit and nothing even matters in the world type', and yet I've actually become more in love with the world and in general more idealistic as I'm getting older (I'm 17, if anyone is wondering). Is this an odd thing, or is it just that negative people become like black holes and suck all of the attention upon themselves, meaning that people with a more positive outlook aren't really noticed?

Teenagers think that life needs to be a constant flood of new stimuli at a breakneck speed. Then they get older and mellow out a bit and realize this:

CAPTCHA: half empty. Wow, why is captcha always somehow relevant to the conversation? Keywords probably.

xDarc:

I've stopped caring too. I care enough to keep going to work every day and do what I set out to do in my life, but I'm stockpiling guns and ammo in my spare time because I do not believe society as we know it will make it much longer.

I've never heard that one before.

Everyone has always said that for thousands of years, but there have never been 7 billion people on the planet when THEY said it,there have never been the kinds of challenges they faced in food, water, energy, climate change, globalization and loss of control over the economy. This truly is a unique point in human history, and you should be worried.

There had also never been something quite like Gangis Khan, the black death, the spanish flu, the world wars, or the threat of atomic annihilation.

Every day will be like any other, until the next day it suddenly isn't. For some people they probably feel like it's already happening, broke, can't find work, no help, lashing out.

Do I need to go into the different implications of what it means to be me impoverished in a modern western civilization versus being impoverished in practically any other circumstance for the span of most of human history?

I don't weep for the end of society though, I don't see much difference between full on Mad-Max and now.

I see that you like to travel a lot.

The biggest difference is instead of someone bullying you in highschool until you kill yourself, they'd just kill you.

The two are almost indistinguishable.

People find creative ways to be the confrontational, nasty animals they are in society. Sometimes I wish we'd just drop the act anyhow.

I can see why you're unhappy and scared of the future. Fortunately though, I don't live in Detroit, so my outlook on life is much cheerier. :P

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