8 Reasons We Should Stop Blaming the Generation Gap
by Kel Fabie
Whenever something monumentally tragic happens to our kids, we look, shake our heads and mutter to ourselves, “kids these days” and “in my time” despite the fact that we were born in 1987. That’s just really how it is for us, unfortunately.
We dismiss the technology advances enjoyed by the next generation as we insist on believing that their gadgets are all inferior copies of the things we had when we were kids. The stupid things kids do now are more stupid than the stupid things we did in our day. It’s what allows us to grow old and accomplish virtually nothing, while grumbling from our rocking chairs how the generation that came after us squandered all the opportunities we gave them.
Guess what? That’s not true at all. In fact, a lot of “in my time statements” are plainly bunk, and here are just 8 examples of that.
8. Music has always followed a formula.
What We Say: “Today’s music is so meaningless and soulless. It’s just churned out by the corporate machine.”
Every time we rolled our eyes at One Direction, our parents rolled their eyes at the Backstreet Boys, whose parents rolled their eyes at the Beatles. The fact of the matter is, music, particularly pop music, has always followed a formula. Music isn’t getting progressively worse: it’s just always been more of the same, wrapped behind different beats. And yes, it has always been about the money: the record industry is no greedier now than they were when they were pushing Elvis Presley at the expense of the black people who did Rock and Roll way before he did.
The Realization: If it’s too loud, you’re too old. Admit it: did you ever think you would be calling N’Sync “a classic” twenty years ago? None of us did.
7. Kids aren’t getting dumber.
What We Say: “Kids today, with their Running Man Challenge and brain-numbing Call of Counterfield. In my time, I indulged only in Sartre, Descartes, and Focault.”
Kids are, due to lack of education, by default likely not going to be smarter than adults, but we can’t possibly say that we were collectively smarter when we were kids. In fact, it’s pretty clear that IQ’s are rising worldwide, given that the ability to gorge on knowledge through the internet has never been easier for everyone, including kids.
This is why we can’t help but wonder why people insist on quoting baseless memes and clickbait-y trendspotting sites (like us!) as authorities instead of more reputable sources. Thankfully, we like to do that blue text thing a lot, so we at least vet what we have to say.
The Realization: When you see an article about 12 kids who are millionaires because they developed an app at their age, do you still think you were so smart at your age while you were playing tumbang preso and piko?
6. Kids aren’t becoming more anti-social.
What We Say: “Look at those kids, with their noses glued to their gadgets. Pfft. In my time, we socialized and talked to each other and went out of the house. Like normal people.”
People often say that tablets and phones have made kids anti-social, yet we’ve said the same thing about video games, TV, and radio. Yet, a cursory look at adults who date each other and look at their phones more than they gaze at each other’s eyes shows that this is clearly not a generation thing but a technology thing. As long as someone knows how to work a smartphone, they will be susceptible to becoming a drone, and you don’t need to be a kid for that to happen.
The Realization: The times are changing and we are more and more connected in a virtual world where FB (Facebook) friendships are on par with F&B (Flesh and Blood) friendships. Who set these kids up for that world in the first place? It’s not like they woke up one day and demanded to be in front of an LCD screen 24/7. We actually share in some of that blame, if we think it’s such a terrible thing.
5. Kids aren’t becoming more rude.
What We Say: “When I was a kid, I was always respectful to my elders. Kids these days are so rebellious.”
“I would have never said that to my mom,” said the sanctimonious person who overhears a child throwing a temper tantrum. Well, that’s probably because they would have kicked your ass, and that was okay at the time. Nowadays, that’s not kosher and that’s actually a good thing. It isn’t about being a bleeding heart; there are more sensible ways to discipline kids than to beat the crap out of them.
The Realization: We’ve been blaming the Generation Gap since Ancient Greece. If succeeding generations have been progressively getting worse since Ancient Greece, why are we at an age of rapid development that no longer takes generations to manifest, but merely years, if not months?