Social media has become a part of everyday life for numerous adolescents. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, three-quarters of American teens aged 13 to 17 use social media ( Vogels et al., 2022). Social media has significantly impacted adolescents’ positive and negative cultures (Monroe, 2022). Unfortunately, social media has also been linked to a variety of negative issues, similar as cyberbullying, lack of face-to-face relations, and, indeed, the live streaming of graphic content (Wojdan et al., 2021; Gentina et al., 2021). There are some serious counteraccusations for adolescents who are using social media. With this in mind, it is important to consider whether or not social media should have a legal age limit, if there should be restrictions on what minors can post, and if there should be an alert system for parents (Gayle, 2021). In addition, it is important to consider whether females are more influential than males when it comes to social media use and if schools are doing enough to help adolescents floundering with social media’s adverse effects.
Many teenagers’ lives now revolve around their constant connection to various social media platforms. As a result, several unfavorable consequences have been associated with it. One of the biggest drawbacks of using social media is the increased risk of cyberbullying, especially among young people. The term “cyberbullying” refers to the “use of technology to harass, threaten, humiliate, or attack another person” (Monroe, 2022). Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the mental health consequences of cyberbullying, ranging from anxiety and sadness to suicide ideation (Monroe, 2022).
Secondly, Many parents are worried about their kids seeing violent content streamed life online. As per Wojdan et al. (2021) study on the topic, young people’s “tendency to post and consume material containing explicit photographs and videos on social media” is harmful to their physical and mental health. Therefore, as a result, Adolescents, who may be too immature and innocent to grasp the repercussions of their behavior, are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of this sort of material.
Lastly, Adolescents’ mental health might be negatively impacted because of the isolation that can result from less time spent interacting with others in person due to the prevalence of social media use. Gentina et al. (2021) state that “over usage of social media might lead to loneliness, social isolation, and even despair.” Adolescents who do not get enough face-to-face time may develop less empathy than their peers, which may have serious consequences for their friendships and romantic relationships. It is obvious that using social media may have a number of detrimental consequences on teenagers’ mental health and development. Cyberbullying, live broadcasts of violent material, and a decline in in-person contact need attention. The question then becomes what can be done to the blow.
Given the widespread use of social media in modern society, it is crucial to consider whether there needs to be a set legal age for its usage. On the one hand, there are advantages to setting an age restriction for social media since it may help shield teenagers from any possible drawbacks (Vogels et al., 2022). An age restriction may protect children from unsuitable information or online bullying. Additionally, it could aid in preventing young people from participating in behaviors that can result in detrimental mental health consequences, including loneliness and despair.
However, there are disadvantages to setting an age restriction for using social media. For instance, because it is simple to establish fictitious accounts or lie about one’s age, enforcing such an age restriction could be challenging (Monroe, 2022). Additionally, even with an age restriction, teenagers can still find a method to access social media. Finally, a restriction on age may restrict teenagers’ chances to use social media for productive activities like networking and interacting with others. Overall, It is crucial to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of such a policy before making a choice. With this in mind, it is crucial to take into account the additional measures that may be taken to reduce the possible drawbacks of using social media.
It is crucial to consider whether there should be limitations on what minors may publish in light of the proliferation of social media in today’s culture. On the one hand, limitations on what minors may post have advantages. Restrictions, for instance, may aid in shielding teenagers from the potentially harmful impacts of social media, such as cyberbullying and the live broadcasting of graphic material (Vogels et al., 2022). These restrictions may aid in preventing the exposure of young individuals to offensive material, such as violence or sexually explicit language. On the other side, limiting what young people may post has disadvantages. For instance, such limits can make it harder for teenagers to use social media’s benefits, including networking and peer connections; in addition, regulations may also limit the freedom of speech of adolescents since they may be reluctant to share certain things online if they fear repercussions. Lastly, constraints may breed distrust between parents and teenagers since teenagers may believe their parents do not trust them to make mature judgments.
It is ultimately a difficult choice whether or not to limit the content that children may post. Before selecting a choice, it is crucial to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of such a policy. Therefore, In light of this, it is crucial to think about additional measures that may be implemented to reduce the possible drawbacks of social media use (Monroe, 2022). In addition, it is crucial to ensure that teenagers are informed about responsible social media use and the possible drawbacks of uploading incorrect information.
Regarding the warning system on minors’ use of social media, it is vital to ask whether parents need to have some warning system. On the one hand, a parental alert system may help make sure parents are aware of any improper information their children may be sharing. Following this, Adolescents’ mental health may be protected against potential threats, including cyberbullying, live streaming of graphic material, and a decline in face-to-face contact via an alert system. However, having a parental warning system has its negatives. For instance, if teenagers believe their parents do not trust them to make good choices, they may resent the existence of the alarm system and act out in negative ways against their parents. Since it is simple to create a false identity online, it may be challenging to enforce an alert system strictly (Gentina et al., 2021). Finally, an alert system might stifle a teen’s right to free speech if they are reluctant to write about particular subjects or viewpoints for fear of their parents being notified.
The question of whether or not to set up a notification system for parents is difficult. Before deciding, it is crucial to weigh the policy’s potential advantages and disadvantages. It is crucial to think about alternative measures that may be taken to lessen the risks associated with social media usage. Adolescents must be taught the dangers of sharing improper content online and the need to use social media responsibly.
There are two angles from which to view the debate over whether females or men have more sway regarding the influence of social media on today’s youth. One piece of research suggests that women outnumber men in terms of their participation in social media. Gentina et al. (2021) state, for instance, that “females are more likely to utilize social networking sites than men.” Also, compared to men, women are more inclined to share material on social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube (Gentina et al., 2021). Nonetheless, there is data to imply that men are more likely to utilize social media than women for a few specific purposes. Gentina et al. (2021) found, for instance, that “males are more likely to utilize social networking sites for gaming and amusement reasons than females.” Furthermore, men are more prone to participate in online harassment and abuse than women (Gentina et al., 2021).
The question of whether women or men have greater sway in social media usage is ultimately a nuanced one. Before making a choice, it is crucial to weigh the data suggesting females are more likely to participate in particular activities against the information suggesting men are more likely to engage in certain activities (Gayle, 2021). This highlights the significance of thinking through the consequences of gender variations in social media usage. Adolescents of both sexes, for instance, should be taught the dangers of irresponsible social media usage and the repercussions of uploading unsuitable material.
Following the vast negative effects, as a society, it is our responsibility to review what we can do about the issue of social media and youngsters. For this, it is crucial to ask whether schools are doing enough to aid teenagers in dealing with the adverse impacts of social media. Most schools, on their part, have offered help for adolescents suffering from the negative impacts of social media by giving access to options, including therapy and support groups. Moreover, teens experiencing problems like cyberbullying, isolation, and depression might benefit from the counseling services offered by many schools (Monroe, 2022). Lastly, the schools have / may offer Adolescents learning how to use social media responsibly and understand the possible negative implications of sharing improper information.
However, it is also obvious that more work has to be done to provide sufficient assistance to teenagers who use social media. For instance, many institutions may need to be made aware of the potential risks of social media usage since they do not have formal programs to educate students about them. Adolescents experiencing difficulties as a result of social media usage may need access to sufficient support services at many schools (Gayle, 2021). For this, the concern of whether schools are doing enough to assist students in dealing with the adverse consequences of social media is a difficult answer. Before selecting a choice, taking stock of the available and required resources is vital. This highlights the need for schools to adopt preventative measures to provide sufficient social media assistance for students in their teenage years (Monroe, 2022). For example, by offering lectures on social media in-depth, making sure there are enough resources for struggling teenagers and fostering an environment where teens feel safe talking about things like cyberbullying and depression, society can, through the education system can assist.
In conclusion, social media has significantly impacted adolescents’ cultures positively and negatively. Some of these negative effects include; Cyberbullying, live streaming of graphic content, and a decrease in face-to-face contact have become increasingly pressing. Therefore, It is essential to consider whether setting a legal age for social media use, limiting what minors can post, and establishing a warning system for parents would be beneficial in regulating or curbing the negative effects. Furthermore, it is crucial to address whether females or males have more influence over social media use and if schools are doing enough to help adolescents struggling with social media’s effects. By weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each option, society can decide upon the best course of action to minimize the potential negatives of social media usage. With the right steps, we can equip our youth with the knowledge and resources necessary to safely and responsibly use social media.
Gayle, D. (2021, September 14). Facebook aware of Instagram’s harmful effect on teenage girls, leak reveals. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/sep/14/facebook-aware-instagram-harmful-effect-teenage-girls-leak-reveals
Gentina, E., Chen, R., & Yang, Z. (2021). Development of theory of mind on online social networks: Evidence from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Journal of Business Research, 124, 652-666.
Monroe, J. (2022, July 14). The effect of social media on teenagers. Newport Academy; Newport Academy. https://www.newportacademy.com/resources/well-being/effect-of-social-media-on-teenagers/
Redirect Notice. (2023). Google.com. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=httpswww.alamy.comillustration-of-the-negative-mental-effects-from-social-media-image451144516.html&psig=AOvVaw2ug1srEts4d8kcJdpa-cJj&ust=1676544218838000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CBEQjhxqFwoTCJDzr4esl_0CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAE
Vogels, E. A., Gelles-Watnick, R., & Massarat, N. (2022, August 10). Teens, social media and technology 2022. Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2022/08/10/teens-social-media-and-technology-2022/
Wojdan, W., Wdowiak, K., Witas, A., Drogoń, J., & Brakowiecki, W. (2021). The impact of social media on the lifestyle of young people. Polish Journal of Public Health, 130(1), 8-13.
The Program And Community Setting For The Evaluation Writing Sample
Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) is part of a larger public health campaign to address healthcare imbalances for persons of color in the US. Race and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health improve health outcomes for diverse communities. Due to growing awareness of health disparities, particularly among black and brown populations, the CDC launched the initiative. The REACH program’s goal is to improve public health, and one of its main concerns is minority populations’ under and over-diagnosis of common diseases.
REACH’s logic model shows CDC money, staff time, and volunteer work. Community health assessment, culturally appropriate program design, and implementation are just a few possibilities. Outputs include community health evaluations and novel treatment trials (Coronado, 2020). The initiative also improves access to care, health literacy, and health inequities.
REACH is community-driven and based on where people must participate in the assessment. Therefore, the REACH program evaluation should involve community people. Local leaders that might join REACH include Communities: These organizations are REACH’s main partners and help implement its programs. Health departments: These agencies collaborate with REACH and may contribute to community health outcomes and illness prevalence statistics. Healthcare providers: People seeking medical treatment often contact local doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. Community participants: the success of the REACH program will depend on the amount of engagement shown by the communities it serves.
Overview of the Public Issue
Regarding health, numerous minority groups in the United States bear a disproportionate share of the sickness burden, especially the Black and Latino populations. Both of these difficulties are ones that the REACH program hopes to tackle. Poverty, lack of access to healthcare, racism, and other types of Discrimination all play a role in perpetuating these health disparities (Seelam et al., 2022). The effort aims to close the gap in diagnosing and treating chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension.
African-Americans and Latinos in the United States have a higher rate of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension than non-Hispanic Whites. Example: compared to non-Hispanic White individuals, the risk of being diagnosed with diabetes is approximately two times higher among adults of African heritage. There is also a more significant mortality and complication rate among persons of African descent who have diabetes.
To lessen these gaps, the REACH program leverages community-based efforts to expand access to healthcare, encourage healthy behaviors, and tackle the social and economic factors that affect people’s health (Allen et al., 2022). One of the initiative’s main objectives is to increase people’s access to medical care and encourage them to take advantage of preventive treatments, such as screenings for high blood pressure and diabetes.
The REACH program’s efficiency and efficacy in accomplishing its aims may be determined by thoroughly examining the initiative. To name only a few of REACH’s aims: preventing chemical hazards that threaten human and environmental health, increasing the use of non-invasive testing techniques for chemicals, and boosting Europe’s Chemical Industry’s Competitiveness. Therefore, the REACH program might be evaluated to see whether its objectives are being reached and what changes could be made (Akhtar & Ramkumar, 2023). Costs and advantages, as well as effects on corporations, customers, and the natural world, might all be included in the review.
Several goals may be set to evaluate the REACH program’s efforts to address the public health issue of missed or incorrect diagnosis of common diseases. Objectives in this category include: Finding out how effective the REACH program was in boosting the health of the neighborhood’s residents. Given its importance in judging the program’s overall effectiveness, this should be a top priority throughout the evaluation (Puffer & Ayuku, 2022). Rates of chronic disease diagnosis and treatment, blood pressure, glucose control, and overall health are all possible indicators. However, trying to fathom the program’s pros and cons is one of the goals. The evaluation also aims to identify the strengths and weaknesses of REACH in terms of its planning, implementation, and outcomes (Madani, 2019). Evaluate the program’s success in eradicating health inequalities. The REACH program has one of its main focuses on reducing the health inequities that disproportionately impact communities of color. Analyzing the gaps in health outcomes between the target population and the overall population, as well as between various subgroups within the target population, may help the assessment determine the program’s effectiveness in decreasing these disparities. In addition, Chong et al. (2019) determine the program’s long-term effectiveness by evaluating its potential for continued operation. Successful public health promotion initiatives are a must.
The REACH program is an effort to address the problem of health disparities in minority groups by implementing a variety of community-based interventions and reforms to the healthcare system. The REACH program’s conception and implementation may be aided by looking at several social theories and models of health behavior. The following chapters detail such models and theories. According to the Social Determinants of Health (SDH) theory, which the REACH program adopts, socioeconomic issues, including poverty, racism, and inadequate access to healthcare, are significant contributors to the disproportionate health outcomes experienced by people of color.
The Health Belief Model (HBM) is a popular health behavior model that suggests people’s decisions to engage in healthy behaviors are affected by their beliefs about their vulnerability to health risks, the severity of those risks, and the benefits and costs of taking preventative or ameliorative measures. According to this theory, an individual’s likelihood of engaging in a healthy activity depends on their estimation of their vulnerability to the hazard and the perceived severity of that threat.
The pervasive problem of healthcare inequality will impact the REACH program evaluation. When people from different backgrounds have different health outcomes, we call this a “health disparity,” It is typically tied to broader socioeconomic factors like poverty, racism, and inadequate access to healthcare. When applied to the REACH initiative, health inequities may manifest themselves in various ways, each of which has the potential to affect the evaluation: Expanding access to medical care in underprivileged communities of the United States is a significant focus of the REACH initiative. However, many people in these communities may have trouble getting the medical treatment they need because of barriers such as a lack of insurance, poor public transportation, and language barriers. Due to this, it may be challenging to evaluate the program’s impact on health outcomes since people with the highest need for healthcare services may be excluded from the study.in addition, inequalities in health care are often linked to people’s lack of health literacy.
Factors rooted in societal and cultural Discrimination, social stigma, and distrust of medical professionals are social and cultural factors that may contribute to the emergence of health disparities (Akhtar & Ramkumar, 2023). These factors may affect an individual’s propensity to participate in an examination or disclose private information about their health status or lifestyle choices.
Social determinants of health include, but are not limited to, an individual’s birth, upbringing, residence, occupation, and retirement settings. Because of the disproportionate impact of socioeconomic determinants of health on black and brown communities, the REACH program evaluation may need to consider these factors more closely than initially planned. Poverty in any community of color, especially communities of color (i.e., black and brown communities), faces more significant levels of poverty than other groups, and poverty is one of the most critical socioeconomic variables determining a person’s health. Because it limits access to healthcare, healthy food, safe housing, and other resources, poverty may impact health outcomes (Islam et al., 2021). Thus, this might make it hard to evaluate the REACH program since low-income individuals may need help accessing healthcare, transportation, or other necessities for participating in the study.
In conclusion, the health outcomes of the target population should be monitored as part of REACH. Such outcomes include improved rates of sickness diagnosis and decreased health disparities. As a result, this might be useful in gauging the program’s overall performance. Demographic data collection is essential for the REACH program to ascertain whether or not it is reaching the target population and whether or not there are inequalities in participation or success that can be attributed to demographic factors such as race, ethnicity, or any other such factor.
Akhtar, M. H., & Ramkumar, J. (2023). Primary Health Center: Can it be made mobile for efficient healthcare services for the hard-to-reach population? A state-of-the-art review. Discover Health Systems, 2(1), 3.
Allen, C. G., Lenert, L., Hunt, K., Jackson, A., Levin, E., Clinton, C., … & Judge, D. P. (2022). Lessons Learned from the Pilot Phase of a Population-Wide Genomic Screening Program: Building the Base to Reach a Diverse Cohort of 100,000 Participants. Journal of Personalized Medicine, 12(8), 1228.
Chong, M., Lazo Lazo, J. G., Pereda, M. C., & Machuca De Pina, J. M. (2019). Goal programming optimization model under uncertainty and the critical areas characterization in humanitarian logistics management. Journal of humanitarian logistics and supply chain management, 9(1), 82-107.
Coronado, G. D. (2020). Who is reached with clinic in-reach and outreach strategies to promote colorectal Cancer screening? American Journal of Public Health, 110(4), 437-439.
Islam, S., Joseph, O., Chaudry, A., Forde, D., Keane, A., Wilson, C., … & Starling, B. (2021). “We are not hard to reach, but we may find it hard to trust”…. Involving and engaging ‘seldom listened to community voices in clinical translational health research: a social innovation approach: Research Involvement and Engagement, 7(1), 46.
Kennedy, M., Lesser, A., Israni, J., Liu, S. W., Santangelo, I., Tidwell, N., … & Hwang, U. (2022). Reach and adoption of a geriatric emergency department accreditation program in the United States. Annals of emergency medicine, 79(4), 367–373.
Madani, R. A. (2019). Analysis of Educational Quality, a Goal of Education for All Policy. Higher Education Studies, 9(1), 100-109.
Puffer, E. S., & Ayuku, D. (2022). A community-embedded implementation model for mental-health interventions: Reaching the hardest to reach. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 17(5), 1276-1290.
Seelam, B., Liu, H., Borah, R. R., Sheeladevi, S., Keay, L., REACH research group, … & Vijayalakshmi, P. (2021). A realist evaluation of the implementation of a large‐scale school eye health program in India: a qualitative study. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 41(3), 565–581.
The Search For Meaning: An Exploration Of Power And Identity Essay Example
From the days of “The Age of Faith” to the modern era of the Scientific Revolution and now to the post-modern era of Economic dominance, the themes of power, meaning, and purpose have been explored and re-examined. This shift in power structures has been explored through literature, such as Waiting for Godot, where economic salvation is questioned, and Miguel Street, where the difference between space and place is explored. In Sylvia Plath’s poem “The Applicant”, the idea of the need to fill an empty void is evident. Even Spotting the Missing Ball in Miguel Street is a story that touches on the notion of power and control. In all these works, the idea of transcendent power and the need for absolute truth is examined and questioned. These works of literature provide insight into the transition from the Age of Faith to the Age of Science and now to the Age of Economics and how power, meaning, and purpose have changed over the centuries. In my essay, I will discuss the relationship between the four quotes, their similarities and differences.
Discussion on the relationship between the four quotes and the question prompt
The main similarity between Waiting for Godot and the shift from the theological period to the economic period is that, in both cases, the characters are left in a state of uncertainty and confusion about their purpose and fate. In both cases, the characters search for meaning and purpose but cannot find it. In the case of Waiting for Godot, the characters are waiting in vain for the arrival of Godot, never knowing if he will arrive. In the case of the shift from the theological to the economic period, the characters are searching for meaning and purpose in a world where science and technology have been replaced by economics and politics as the dominant discourse. In both cases, the characters are left confused and uncertain, unable to find meaning and purpose in their lives.
The balcony quote addresses the crisis outlined in the question/prompt by illustrating the power of discourse in the post-modern age. The Judge recognizes that his identity, and thus his power, is predicated on the Thief’s identity as a “thief” and the dynamics created by that status. I am because you are. By recognizing the Thief can “refuse” to be who they are and thus deny the Judge his identity and power, the Judge is forced to confront the implications of the post-modern shift in power dynamics and discourse. The quote shows how power is no longer predicated on a centralized entity or a transcendent force in the post-modern age but is an effect of relationships. It also demonstrates how “meaning” is now seen as an artificial construct used to make sense of what remains and how discourse ultimately determines the degree to which actions can have agency.
The Applicant by Sylvia Plath addresses the shift from the dominance of Scientific discourse in ‘the modern’ to the dominance of Economic discourse in the post-modern by showing how society treats those who do not fit the mould of the ideal (O’Connor et al., pg. 105). The poem shows how those who are “different” are seen as “inferior” or “undesirable” and are excluded from the economic opportunities available to those who do fit the ideal. The poem also speaks to the devaluation of individual worth and shows how those who are “different” are seen as nothing more than objects to be acquired or discarded. This speaks to the idea of “power” being an effect of relationships, where those who are seen as “outsiders” are denied any power or agency. The poem also speaks to the idea that “meaning” is an artificial construct, as the speaker of the poem is offering a “hand” as a “last resort” to acquire something that is deemed valuable by society, even though this hand is of no use to the speaker.
Additionally, Plath speaks to the post-modern crisis of a lack of meaningful purpose by depicting a desperate situation in which one is forced to settle for any scrap of hope that can be found in an open, empty world. Through the speaker’s words, Plath illustrates how the search for meaning has become increasingly futile, as the speaker offers a “hand” of desperation, suggesting that the only thing left to do is to “marry it”. The speaker’s words also speak to the shift from a transcendent power or the scientific method to an economic system as a saviour, as the speaker emphasizes the need for any “last resort” that can provide some solace in an otherwise empty world. This illustrates how the post-modern era has seen a shift from faith in a higher power to a reliance on economic systems, as well as the desperation that comes with such a shift.
The story in Miguel Street explores the notion of searching for meaning in an increasingly complex and chaotic world. In the question/prompt, the search for meaning has shifted from a spiritual/theological period of faith in God to a modern period of faith in science and then to an economic period of faith in the market and capital. In the story of Miguel Street, the protagonist is searching for meaning in a game that appears to be a metaphor for life, as he devotes excessive energy and money to a competition that he is ultimately unable to win. In both cases, the search for meaning is fruitless, as the protagonist needs help finding a sense of purpose or direction in the increasingly chaotic world. From the story in Miguel Street and the question prompt, I conclude that the search for meaning is ultimately futile, as the protagonists cannot feel satisfied in their respective pursuits.
Similarities in which the four quotes address the question prompt
The four quotes provide insight into the shift from an “Age of Anxiety” to an “Age of Economics”, as described in the question prompt. In all four quotes, the characters are searching for something that is missing or that will provide them with stability and meaning. This search is emblematic of the shift from a focus on the essence and the soul to a focus on the self and the economic world.
In Waiting for Godot’s quote, Lucky tries to make sense of existence by describing the works of Puncher and Wattmann and the labours of Testew and Cunard, but he finds his words short. He is searching for something that is missing, something that will provide him with stability, but he cannot name it. This reflects the shift from the theological period and the focus on the essence and the soul to the modern period and the focus on the self and the scientific method.
In the quote from The Balcony, the Judge is trying to make sense of his existence and relationship with the Thief. He finds himself dependent on the Thief and recognizes that if the Thief refuses to be who he is, the Judge will cease to exist. This reflects the shift from the focus on the essence and the soul to the focus on the self and the economic world. The Judge is dependent on the Thief for his stability, and this dependence is symbolic of how economic forces can be used to manipulate individuals to the benefit of a powerful few.
In the quote from “The Applicant” by Sylvia Plath, the speaker asks the protagonist if they are “our sort of person” and if they are wearing false teeth, a crutch, or any other item that suggests something is missing. The speaker suggests that if the protagonist is not “our sort of person”, then there is nothing they can do to help them. This reflects the shift from the focus on the essence and the soul to the focus on the self and the economic world. The speaker suggests that the protagonist is only valuable if they can be manipulated to benefit the speaker. This is symbolic of how economic forces can be used to control individuals and exploit them for profit.
Finally, in the quote from Miguel Street, the protagonist is obsessed with finding a missing ball in the Guardian newspaper. He spends all of his money trying to spot it and even goes so far as to beat up a sub-editor when he fails. This reflects the shift from the focus on the essence and the soul to the focus on the self and the economic world. The protagonist is searching for something that will provide him stability and meaning, but he ultimately fails to find it. This is symbolic of how economic forces can exploit individuals and manipulate them for profit.
Overall, the four quotes provide insight into the shift from an “Age of Anxiety” to an “Age of Economics” described in the question prompt. They illustrate how individuals search for something that is missing, something that will provide them with stability and meaning, but ultimately fail to find it. This reflects the shift from the focus on the essence and the soul to the focus on the self and the economic world and how economic forces can be used to manipulate individuals and exploit them for profit.
Differences in which the four quotes address the question prompt
The four quotes presented above, taken from Waiting For Godot, The Balcony, “The Applicant”, and “Caution”, offer a unique perspective on the question prompt that provides a comprehensive insight into how the transition from the “Age of Anxiety” (modern) to the “Age of Economics” (post-modern) has shaped our current understanding of power. In centuries past (up until the 16th century), society had a collective belief in “essence” or “the soul”, a structure that allowed one to determine the difference between what is meaningful and what is not, what matters and what doesn’t, what is wrong and what is right, and what the purpose of life on this Earth is, and what it is not. This concept of the eternal soul “pings” outward, from within a mortal body, to a cosmic, unwavering orientation point.
The first quote from Waiting for Godot conveys the confusion and chaos that has arisen due to losing faith in a higher power. The characters in the play suffer from an extreme lack of direction and purpose, as they seem to be waiting endlessly for something that will never come. This quote reflects how the transition from the “Age of Faith” to the “Age of Economics” has left many people feeling lost and uncertain about the future.
The second quote from The Balcony paints a vivid picture of the power dynamics that have emerged in the “Age of Economics”, as the Judge and Thief realize that the Judge’s power to judge and punish is dependent on the Thief’s willingness to continue to be a Thief and accept their position of inferiority. The Judge’s plea to the Thief, “Say it, my child, my love, you won’t refuse?” reflects how the power structure of the modern era has been replaced by one of economic domination, in which power is no longer seen as emanating from a centralized source, but rather as an effect of relationships.
The third quote from “The Applicant” by Sylvia Plath is a poignant reminder of the arbitrary nature of power in the “Age of Economics”. The narrator’s sardonic request for the applicant to “marry” a hand, although it offers nothing of value, reflects how pursuing money and material possessions have become the new measure of success and worth. The quote reveals the emptiness and pointlessness of this pursuit and the desperation of those with nothing but an empty hand.
Finally, the fourth quote from “Caution” in Miguel Street highlights how the power structure of the modern era has been replaced by one of economic domination. The protagonist’s obsession with finding the missing ball and his willingness to spend hundreds of dollars in the process reflects the desperation of those caught up in the pursuit of money and the false hope they cling to that they will find some fulfilment in reaching their goal.
Taken together, these four quotes illustrate how the transition from the “Age of Anxiety” to the “Age of Economics” has profoundly impacted our understanding of power. They reveal how power is no longer seen as emanating from a centralized source but as an effect of relationships and the pursuit of money and material possessions. They also show how the power dynamics of the modern era have been replaced by one of economic domination and how this has left many people feeling lost and uncertain about the future. Ultimately, these quotes help illuminate and enrich our appreciation of the complex times in which we live and the need to reflect on the implications of this transition for our lives.
O’Connor, Cailin, and James Owen Weatherall. The misinformation age: How false beliefs spread. Yale University Press, 2019.