The answer to this question depends entirely on the individual.
It seems that, generally, young people are not taking full advantage of the wealth of information available to them through television and internet content providers, new agencies, etc. However, the same can be said for adults as well.
Becoming an informed individual requires a vetting of media sources, first and foremost, and an investment in attaining knowledge of the world outside of his or her own culture.
This might repeat some of the points made, but it might frame it in a different way. I think that kids have access to more information. This is due to the onslaught of information technology and the use of different and varied communication means is a part of many kids' lives. This is making the Romantic notion of "childhood innocence" being cast in a different light. Some will say that this window of purity is closing and in a smaller time frame, while others will say that it is still there, just cast in a different context. Kids have more access to information, and in their own minds, this might allow them to believe that they are more knowledgeable about the world. The reality is that kids are simply that, kids. There is an experience to the real world that create the basis for more "knowledge" in addition to the acquisition of formal knowledge in education, and in life, that might create the proper foundation for being "more knowledgeable."
I would say in terms of entertainment, sexuality, recreation, and so forth, yes. Kids are getting pregnant by the thousands, learning first hand about the world of adult responsibility. My students experience things in that department more than any of my classmates would've dreamed of knowing about back even ten years ago when I graduated high school. Kids also have a greater knowledge of recreation and entertainment, as these have been made a priority and are readily available on the internet, etc.
However, I think the level of academic knowledge or book learning, so to speak, is dropping dramatically. When students cannot tell you the names of the commanding generals of the Civil War, in which continent you can find Italy, how to average their grade for the quarter, etc., it really makes you wonder what happened to the quality of instruction that many of us in my generation took for granted.
Absolutely! With the spread of technology and information systems, kids are becoming more "plugged in" than ever before. They have access to instant knowledge at the touch of a button almost anywhere...the things phones can do these days! All of my students have cell phones and they are texting and surfing the net all day long. It goes without saying that there are both good and bad things available on the internet, but because of the temptations of the "bad" things, kids are going to learn about them earlier than in years past. It is up to the parents, teachers, and other influential adults in their lives to direct and mold their learning and understanding of this information.
I think many kids are exposed to all sorts of information about the world that simply was not available in years past. For example, there is wonderful photography and narration about places, people and nature that many children watch. In addition, history may be more accessible to kids through the History Channel than it used to be. Of course, the internet makes it easy for kids to learn about almost anything.
As a result, I think probably most kids are more knowledgable about the world.
On the other hand, kids have many more addictive distractions today. Video and computer games, My Space and Facebook, endless texting, etc. take up a tremendous amount of time.
Another factor is that I believe kids read alot less than they used to, in part because that is no longer a primary source of information and entertainment. Because of this, they are less able and willing to read the better sources of information on the web.
It depends on what facet of the world you are talking about. In terms of sexuality, kids now know way more than I ever did growing up. The Internet has made getting vast amounts of knowledge much more accessible, but I think it has also made kids lazier. Also, with so many websites out there, kids are not savvy about determining what information is accurate and appropriate.
I do not think youths are becoming more knowledgeable about the world. The Internet, Myspace, Facebook, etc., have not made people more knowledgeable, just more interconnected and interrelated. I don't think people are downloading educational courses and studying on their own when they have free time to surf the Internet.
Yes, youth these days are becoming more knowledgeable about world. This is because they are better educated, have better access to information, and have the greater need to know about the whole world.
There was a time when most of the people were born, lived in, and died in the same village without ever getting out of it. The never had the need, or opportunity to travel outside their village. For people of that era the knowledge of world outside was mostly just a topic for conversation.
In contrast we talk of the whole world being a global village, It is difficult to think of an American who does not use product manufactured in many different countries spread across all the continents.
People also have cheaper and better access to information about the whole world by way of TV, Internet and so many other medium of communication including a flood of printed books.
The average education level of the people is also increase, and with increased knowledge come increased curiosity and inquiry. Someone has said, bigger the island of knowledge, larger the coastline of enquiry. Thus youth today also has greater interest in knowing more about the whole world and even beyond.