There have been dramatic changes in people’s lives in the 21st century, especially for the world's youths. The challenges they face are fierce and range from personal problems to work-related issues. As a result, some sociologists argue that compared to young people in the past, young people today encounter more distinct challenges in more diverse areas of their lives. I cannot agree more.
Initially, with the advancement of science and the development of technologies such as the Internet, personal challenges have shifted patterns. Take dating as an example: in the past, people got to know each other mainly through middlemen or day to day encounters, and their contacts were limited. Thus there were fewer opportunities to compare individuals, and this decreased the chances for an individual to find someone suitable. Nowadays, with so many online dating platforms such as Zhen’ai and Baihe, people can easily get in touch with one another, which greatly increase people’s range of choices. Besides, the Internet also allows people to get to know each other virtually before deciding whether to meet, which greatly reduces awkward situations.
Secondly, the economic boom also altered the work-related challenges faced by the youngsters. An example would be the job seeking process. In China, decades ago, people’s job allocations were mainly determined by state or local governments. This was especially true for college students. As a result, there was no need to worry about finding a job. But today it is different. College graduates swarm all over the country, and they have to find jobs on their own and compete with numerous counterparts. The number of well-paid jobs is quite limited. According to a recent survey conducted by Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, nearly 7 million college students are graduating in 2013, and so far only one fourth of those have found jobs. It was also mentioned by some educators that this year would be the hardest time for job hunting due to both the exploding number of students and the limited number of qualified candidates.
To sum up, under the dual influences of science and technological progress as well as economic development, personal or work-related problems confronted by young people today are quite different from those of the past. (By Zou Shunpeng)