Morally Degrading Teens and Internet Addicts

For over a decade I’ve lived in the United States, I spoke English, read English, did everything that normal American teens and young adults did. Up until I took the job to be an English-as-a-second-language (ESL) tutor at a private school two years ago, I had no idea just how different Chinese teens were.

When my cousins came to visit right before I began the job, I sort of got a feel and I was slightly appalled. They were like a 180 turn around compared to the last time I saw them. The last time I saw them was in 2005, obviously, they’ve grown but they’ve also became an internet/gaming addict.

I remembered that first night after we arrived in Las Vegas and my mom didn’t want to pay for the expensive internet at the hotel, my youngest cousin went berserk. It was like the apocalypse was upon him. He threw a tantrum like a little kid and refused to participate in any of our activities. I was like, you’re 16, it’s only for one night, get a grip! My younger cousin was slightly better but then he was always the better cousin.

At the time, I thought their need for the web only came from the fact that they needed some kind of outlet from the 24-7 school life. Yes, kids in China really attend school 7 days a week.  Apparently I was wrong.

The first day on my new job, I finally had a grasp on reality. Chinese teens are completely different than American or other countries’ teenagers. They didn’t want to learn. All they cared about were their electronics and gadgets.  Even their regular teachers have trouble keeping them off their phones during class. I saw the principal’s drawer of confiscated phones and gasped.

Then whenever their phones got confiscated, it was like their world was ending, collapsing into rubble. Trust me, I confiscated a student’s phone and almost got punched in the face but a teacher saved me and I’ll be forever grateful.

Who would have known that only a half of decade can make such difference? Not only are they electronic dependent but also morally degraded.

What do I mean?

I’m talking about cursing and swearing. My students, especially male students, do it all the time like it’s the coolest thing to do. Whether it’s Chinese or English, almost every one of their sentences has at least one swear word in it. Doesn’t that feel wrong in a moral sense? What do parents teach their children these days?

That is just a huge moral degradation from when I lived there. I mean, I don’t remember it was ever okay to call your teacher a “SB”, in English, it means dumba** on the world wide web or call others f****er for the fun of it.

How can an age difference of 5 or 10 years have such a big difference morally and habit-wise?

Thanks for listening and until next time.

2 thoughts on “Morally Degrading Teens and Internet Addicts

  1. I agree. I work with students all the time and I am blown away by how much time they spend doing these things in oppose to how much we spent doing those things!


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