A Swift Goodbye to our Sweet Innocence?


Photo Courtesy of Arch Daily

An example of McDonald’s bright design and architecture in the past.

Myajah Johnson, Opinion Editor

Everyone is so eager to grow up, but why?  Shouldn’t we embrace and bask in our adolescence for as long as possible? Shouldn’t we be able to live contently without societal pressures being imposed on us? Shouldn’t we be able to just be kids without worrying about not fitting into society’s unreasonable standards? The questions are ongoing, really.

Even if you answered yes to all of these, unfortunately those decisions aren’t really ours to make anymore. Why is that, you ask? The answer is clear: the set expectations and newfound progressions in our society force children/teens to grow up way faster than they need to.

As time progresses and technology advances, children are exposed to a lot more.

Social media. Yes, everyone loves it, but, what many people are unconscious of and fail to address, is that it will inevitably be the cause of our youth’s demise.

With exposure to the outside world and more mature themes through social media, kids are exposed to adult-like content. While it’s important for them to know the reality of the world around them, there is still a certain amount of sheltering necessary to preserve that innocence in them until they are mentally ready for it.

Additionally, pressures to look sexually attractive at a younger age are greatly urged nowadays. It is incredibly hard to find full-sized clothing in this day and age. Everything is either cropped or too short.

Models in the entertainment industry and again, on social media, are seen wearing these more revealing clothing pieces, which leads to the creation of different trends. This all paves the way for the selling of these kinds of clothes in the adolescent community because a lot of these entertainers followers’ are young due to the youth’s access to seeing this content. 

And of course, that’s what kids buy because that’s what society deems as “trendy.” It’s all about the desire to fit in.

But, shouldn’t kids be following younger people that they can actually relate to, rather than idolizing these grown-up personas?

And then there’s the fact that how you perform at a young age determines the trajectory of your entire life, essentially.

As teens in high school, we are hit with the immense amount of pressure to do well to help us get into college, leading to our success as we step out into the real world. 

Teenagers, who have barely exited their childhoods, are expected to not only excel exceptionally well in regards to grades, but are also utterly overwhelmed and pushed to figure out plans for the future. 

Putting that much pressure to such a great extent regarding such a pivotal matter on, basically still children if we’re being honest, forces a more adult mentality to be taken on way earlier than necessary. There’s this sense of feeling like a certain level of maturity must be hit in order to decide on such matters and to perform at these great levels.

Also, modernization is not cool. It is dull, lackluster and holds an absence of life within it.

Just think about how the McDonald’s franchise has changed over time design-wise. It went from being this vibrant and spirited hotspot for kids to an unexciting and pale environment.

Every getaway offered to children has slowly been snatched away. Even Toys R Us, children’s heaven on Earth, was shut down. Despite the possibility of them making a comeback, it doesn’t change the fact that children have no escape. There are no places dedicated to them anymore. 

These are things that are imperative. They act as binds to one’s adolescence. Without them, what can they have to cling onto their childhoods?A

Let’s get rid of that thirst to age faster.