Something I’ve noticed on social media, and the media in general, is the denigration of kids these days. Whether it be Gen Whatever complaining about the Millennials, or just people complaining about how (insert disparaging adjective here) the younger generation are, I never fail to be amused with the curmudgeons and their ironic statements.
Complaining about the younger generation has been a popular pastime for old people since the invention of young people. Usually, the complaints are followed by the creaks of arthritic joints as canes, walking sticks and Zimmer frames are waved at the sky; because everyone knows kids live in the sky these days. Even some of the great philosophers have gotten in on the act of denigrating these uppity kids:
Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannise their teachers. – Socrates (469–399 B.C.E.)
That’s right, since the dawn of time, old people have complained about young people and how they are destroying society. And we should know, just look at how terrible society is now: deaths from war are at a thousand year low, homicides are also on a steady decline, the economy is on a 2000 year high, literacy levels are at an all time high, we live longer, and less kids die so they get to grow up, become old, and complain about the kids these days. How can we live in such a terrible time in history!
You see what is happening is a form of nostalgia, pining for a time that never really existed. This golden age only appears golden through a pair of rose coloured glasses, from which only the good memories remain, the bad memories having been covered over with years of alcohol abuse. The kids these days are doing the same stuff the oldies were doing at the same age (as witnessed in this Daily Show video).
We really need to stop with this ageist nonsense. Society has advanced: kids learn different things at school because different things will be expected of them in the future, computers are a thing now, phones are really handy, pop music is as dull as ever, and nobody cares how far you had to walk to school back in your day. So let’s stop picking on different age groups and get back to criticising the things that really matter: sport referees.
More articles worth a read:
2,500 years of kids these days.
Update: Vsauce did a fantastic video on Juvenoia (i.e. fear of kids these days) that is well worth a watch.
13 thoughts on “Kids these days.”
Love your work, Tyson.
Thanks Angela. I just had to get this one off my chest, even though I’m no longer young.
You misread me. My generation in the US was the peak of a rising trend in teen violence which has since reversed, and the first to see social equality demands step into overreaching absurdity of inequality itself, so we’ve little to brag about. But so many of us have also done a piss poor job raising our own children that we really have lowered the mean for later generations (thank goodness for the exceptions).
So, if we complain, it is more likely we’ve finally wised up, and realize our own grandparents were right, after all. 😉
And I think you have been watching too much sensationalist news media. Read the links and realise that we are far better off now than we were a generation ago, let alone two generations ago. The polio alone is enough to say now is better.
The “Panel of experts” in the Daily Show clip contains at least one comedian I recognize. I wonder about the rest of them.
Do you mean the Fox News clip that they are ridiculing in the Daily Show clip I linked? I took the panel in that to be the usual Fox News media personalities. People they have on contract or professional head shakers and moral outrage police.
The main point was that the Fox clip couldn’t see the hypocrisy of their statements, and I was using that as evidence of the “kids these days” not being a new thing.