Many people would agree that our world is dealing with lots of issues. Climate change, lack of food and basic necessities in some countries, and a potential threat of World War III all depict a stomach-churning image of our future. But what issues are the most relevant right now? Here they are.
1. Humanity Itself
Many would agree that most of the problems we're facing were created by us. One Reddit user shared their point of view on this particular point.
“The biggest problem facing humanity today is humanity itself. We're complex beautiful, hostile, loving, controlling, freedom seeking, violent, peace loving contradictory creatures. Virtually all of our problems are of our own creating, and when we create those problems our complexity ends up putting us in situations where we can't even agree if those problems even exist or how to fix them.”
2. Social Media
Social media can be a force for good, but lately, it seems to be doing more harm than good. The number of mental health issues in young adults are higher than ever, likely thanks to the unrealistic beauty standards they are inundated with on a daily basis.
“At least from me in the United States (not sure if this holds true in other countries) social media is one of my big two as well. Social media and mainstream news stations.
Humans seem to do best when we support, love, understand, and work together. Which, coincidentally, is the exact opposite of what seems to be the goal of social media and mainstream news. Seems like those two really just seek to divide people and stir anger, hatred, and distrust,” one user said.
Another user added on to that point. “You're absolutely right about all of this. I want to expand on one point: As you said , the goal of social media and mainstream news seems to be division. However, that division isn't their goal. It's a means to an end. Their goal is to make more money than they'll ever need.”
3. Climate Change
This one seems pretty obvious. Many people are divided on whether or not climate change is a real and relevant concept. One user shared that their parents compared climate change to the threat of nuclear war in the 80s.
“I think the reason this one is so hard is that humans just can't comprehend the idea that something is both slow-moving and inevitable. We've been raised our whole lives to believe that if “the consequences” haven't actually happened yet then we can all still come together and solve the problem. Every Hollywood movie has last-second solutions and miracle technologies that save the day at the final hour.
My parents have compared climate change to nuclear war fears in the 80s and they think everything is fine because just like the nukes the bad things haven't happened yet, so maybe they never will. They can't wrap their heads around the idea that in this analogy the nukes are in the air and on their way and just because they haven't hit yet doesn't mean it won't happen.”
4. Wealth Inequality
As inflation ravaged the United States between 2020 and 2022, the wealth gap in the country became seemingly more obvious. The cost of living has been rising at record rates, and wages haven't been able to keep up. Meanwhile, companies that were considered “essential” during the pandemic thrived, making those at the tops of the organizations even wealthier than they were before.
One user suggested that progressive taxation is the answer to this issue. “Sometimes I think we get too complicated with our attempts at legislatively solving problems. Instead we should increase progressive taxation and then redistribute those funds downwards or at least support social safety net programs more.
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That said, I am not sure I agree that the poor are getting poorer. I think poverty was trending downwards until 2020 at least. The rich are indeed getting richer though.”
Another user suggested that the poor are not in fact getting poorer, it's just the rich that are becoming richer. “Poors are not getting poorer, poors are getting richer. But the rich are getting richer faster, making the gap larger. But an average guy in a third world country lives better than a roman emperor. Access to culture, medecine, travel, comfort, communication…
The number of illiterate people is historically low. War has never been this rare. Most people will never know a war in their lives, when it was an unavoidable part of life merely a century ago. Life expectancy is reaching its summit. Don't say the poor are getting poorer. Richs are getting richer. Way beyond anyone should be. We're heading to a dystopia future where companies wield more power than governments.”
5. Lack of Empathy and Kindness
One user talked about how they missed how the “old world” worked. They talked about how neighbors used to look out for each other instead of praying on each other's downfall.
“As an American, I agree. Ten years ago, it blew me away that Canadians, Brits, etc, cared enough about their fellow countrymen that they’d pay taxes to make sure they didn’t die from lack of healthcare or drown in debt, even if they vehemently disagreed with what their next door neighbor believed in every possible way.
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In the USA, that idea is like an alien coming from Mars and telling us that’s how they do it up there. In America, people will want their neighbor destitute on the street if they disagree with them on politics. This isn’t one sided either. Look around just on Reddit, plenty of Democrats want Republicans to suffer in awful conditions or just die so they can go “haha!”
I’m extremely far left, which means there is no party in the USA that accurately represents me. This likely holds true for most nations.
I just had so much respect for other countries for their respect of their neighbors. It probably sounds stupid, but I still believe that.
Now, the UK has a massive contingent wanting an American style healthcare system. They’re probably along the same economic lines too; Rich people who know they can afford whatever it costs, and poor people who are being lied to and believing it thinking they’ll be taken care of. Spoiler: you’re gonna get left behind and the people you voted for won’t care or will be happy when you die. Less burden on them.”
6. Shortened Attention Spans
It's no secret that social media has effectively re-trained our brains to prefer short videos. Our collective attention span has suffered as a result of this. One user suggested that this phenomenon is designed to manipulate viewers into staying engaged as long as possible.
“Our collective attention span shortened to hours, manipulated by algorithms meant to keep people engaged as long as possible. Enraging is engaging, engaging sells ads, ads pay big money.”
There are plenty of conspiracy theories surrounding certain wealthy individuals who are actively working to reduce the planet's population through various methods, such as vaccinations with hidden, dangerous ingredients. One user suggested that many environmental issues could be solved with population decline.
“A lot of people are going to talk about how ‘overpopulation isn't an issue'. I'd argue that many, many environmental issues could be solved with population decline. Denying it is just reddit ignorance.” Another user argued that population decline would not be helpful is not the answer and won't be helpful for environmental issues.
“I'm not really convinced population decline would be that helpful for environmental issues. We need to transition away from fossil fuels and that's going to take a lot of investment in green technology, investment in that becomes more difficult when the economy is messed up cuz the population is declining.”
8. The Media
It's not a secret that there aren't many objective media outlets anymore. One user pointed out that the constant fear mongering has most people in a state of constant confusion wondering who to believe.
“The media. Fear mongering to sell papers and get clicks has gotten out of hand, so many downright lies and half truths amidst real issues. People either live in fear, reject it entirely or live in a constant state of wondering what's really true and what isn't. It's a mess, and too far gone at this point I think. There are people now that wouldn't believe it if an actual alien invasion occurred even when the alien is mid pulling their skin off, because so many times the media cried wolf and it wasn't true.”
9. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is already on the rise. Writing outlets have been increasingly relying on AI programs to create their content. One user shared their concern that AI will take over jobs in the near future, but acknowledges that it is ultimately inevitable.
“Artificial Intelligence for sure. Already I can see a future where 50% of jobs are replaced within 10 years. Who knows how many will go within 20 years. Yes, AI creates new jobs, but no where near as many as it's taking. We have to embrace it, though. No point in avoiding the inevitable. Just have to hope we can come up with a solution to prevent AI from destroying us and giving us purpose without jobs.”
10. Crime and Corruption
Crime rates have skyrocketed all over the U.S., and not much has been done to stop it. In fact, a few state governments have created laws protecting those who seek to steal from others by setting an unfairly high threshold for how much they are allowed to steal before they can be arrested.
One user pointed out that most other issues have a solution, but ultimately crime and corruption will take much longer to weed out. “Ultimately, crime/corruption. Because for every other problem – diseases, poverty, climate crisis, religious nutters, etc. – there are solutions out there.
‘We' (global society as a whole, if we only came to see ourselves as such in the first place) have the resources, we have the technology and tools, we know the social techniques to keep people (yes, even several Billions of them) safe, healthy, well educated. We just don't see these tools correctly implemented because of our fundamentally broken political systems, world wide. Meanwhile, people rather fight each other over the last crumbs on the table instead of asking who – quite literally – took the cake away in the first place.”
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