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Gil Mildar
As the song says, a Latin American with no money in his pocket.

The Cringe Uncle’s Rant: The Online Lives of Teens and Their Isolation

Our teenagers are getting lost in a dark room, lit only by the pale glow of a smartphone screen. In a land where every stone carries the weight of millennia, the new war is silent and invisible, fought in young minds, shaped and destroyed by excessive internet use. This isn’t a war of bombs and bullets but of digital loneliness.

Have you really looked at a teenager lately? A 2023 study by Israel’s National Institute of Mental Health paints a bleak picture: 90% of teens used smartphones regularly, spending an average of 7 hours daily on social media. Seven hours! Each swipe of a finger on the screen is another brick in the wall separating them from reality. Promising worlds of possibilities but delivering dark rooms and empty minds.

In a country where human connection is our lifeline, we see a generation sinking into virtual isolation. Our children, our grandchildren, are turning into digital zombies, trained for superficiality and isolated in the crowd of online networks. They are physically present, but their minds wander through barren digital landscapes.

And the cost? Oh, it’s steep. Studies from 2023 show that excessive smartphone use is linked to alarming levels of anxiety and depression. Empathy, that essential human capacity, is withering. Each “like” is an empty echo, each “share” a silent scream into the digital void. They are building invisible walls that separate them from us, themselves, and the real world.

Worse still is the loss of silence. Introspection has become an obsolete luxury. In an era where everything is captured, filtered, and posted, there is no space for anonymity, for discovering oneself without the constant need for approval. The internet imprisons more than it liberates, creating a vicious cycle of never-ending validation.

Have you thought about this? While we worry about our nation’s physical borders, we forget the internal ones, where the real battle for humanity is being fought. It’s a war for the soul, the ability to feel deeply and connect genuinely. The enemy is subtle, promising, and seductive. It offers worlds of possibilities but delivers prisons of isolation.

We live in dark times, but it’s in the shadows that the truth often emerges. With all its allure and promise, online life is shaping a generation for disconnection. We need to fight for these young people and offer them the richness of fundamental human interactions before they are lost forever in the vast emptiness of the internet.

If we don’t, we’ll be doomed to watch helplessly as an entire generation drowns in the virtual ocean, unable to find their way back home.

About the Author
As a Brazilian, Jewish, and humanist writer, I embody a rich cultural blend that influences my worldview and actions. Six years ago, I made the significant decision to move to Israel, a journey that not only connects me to my ancestral roots but also positions me as an active participant in an ongoing dialogue between the past, present, and future. My Latin American heritage and life in Israel have instilled a deep commitment to diversity, inclusion, and justice. Through my writing, I delve into themes of authoritarianism, memory, and resistance, aiming not just to reflect on history but to actively contribute to the shaping of a more just and equitable future. My work is an invitation for reflection and action, aspiring to advance human dignity above all.
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