What youths really want
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Firms are the best listeners, probably even better than mothers. They’ll allow us to file a complaint on a disgruntled employee, report defective goods (and even provide a full refund or an exchange for a better product) and basically anything that’ll help them improve their products. In fact, firms are probably most attentive toward youths considering today’s red hot businesses are aimed at them. Think of smartphones, apps and the like.
While this may seem like a fairly perfect setting, I see a huge flaw in it. Youths (even children) today are socially, politically, and environmentally conscious of their surroundings. The damages inflicted by firms can no longer be swept under the rug by governments. We younglings know and understand that we will inherit the world tomorrow and firms are trashing it up. From the abuse of workers in Foxconn to Bangladeshi sweatshops, the deforestation of the Amazon and Indonesia’s insistent on burning its forests, ethics in businesses are no longer as what is written on abundant research papers.
With globalization and today’s wider accessibility to the internet, firms need to realise that we no longer learn from the classroom alone, our text books range from BBC to Aljazeera, and Twitter is our daily reminder. Youths today expect change. Change from the usual profit hoarding rich hags that stay rich while the small skirmish for scraps.
Businesses need to continue listening to youths and youths needs to continue voicing out, scream their lungs out if they have to, but businesses should accept more input than ‘What do people want to buy?’ or ‘How much are the buyers willing to pay?’, they should also hear the cries of: ‘Stop dumping in the river.’, or ‘Why are you using that bailout money to pay the executives instead of hundreds of thousands of retrenched workers?’.
So, the way I see it, the problem isn’t that businesses are not listening to the youths. The problem is selective hearing. For a more utopian environment for youths, firms better start cleaning up their act and start listening to the right messages and read the right signals. If the voices of these future inhabitants are not heard, then we might as well get ready for a dystopian future like in Waterworld (and what a disaster it was).
Name: Jarud Romadan bin Khalidi