you little

4/25/12

Okay, time for the “I’m single-parentin’ this week and walkin’ in a stupor” question that allows me to hear from you out in Greater Blogboro:

How would you end the phrase “kids today sure are ________”

In this case, “kids today” = “ages 15-26” and you can use one word, three words, or even three sentences. Unrigorous, anecdotal bullshit is heartily encouraged – as is broad generalization, mean-spirited guessing, and outright calumny that says more about you than them. Thoughtful analysis is nice too. It’s for a little idea I’m working on.

Thoughts?

textinteens.jpg

Textin’ Teens™ clip art added for demotivational clichĂ© purposes

8 thoughts on “you little

  1. FreshPaul

    Kids these days are like kids in every other day; people, especially young people, no matter when or where they exist exhibit fundamental commonalities.
    I’m in my 11th year of teaching high school. The more tangible changes I’ve seen in ‘kids these days’ has nothing to do with anything changing in young people themselves, but can largely be attributed to their circumstances.
    My students, and I have some of the (on paper) brightest in the district in my classes, are less and less comfortable with any sort of critical/analytical/’higher order’ thinking. This is, in my experience, attributable to the creeping prevalence of the drill and kill, literacy/numeracy bubble tests taking over more and more of 3-8 education. My students this year aren’t any less intellectually capable; they’ve just never been asked to actually think…when I ask this of them, it’s like if a 16 year old is only just now getting the training wheels off of his bike.
    (If you’re so inclined, pass along this anti-shitty testing petition to your concerned friends and local school boards etc…it’s gathering steam and will hopefully continue to do so: http://timeoutfromtesting.org/nationalresolution/media/testing_resolution.pdf)
    Another change is that they more and more can’t keep their eyes open. Students don’t have any more homework than past years, and they don’t have any more biological or environmental impediments to sleeping than any other year or generation. Adolescents aren’t known for their great self-discipline, and the last 5 years or so have given many, many more opportunities to exercise that lack of self discipline with regard to time management. Various technologies haven’t changed kids – that’s bullshit – but they have given them many more temptations that require greater self-discipline than many young people have yet to develop to avoid them. The bellyaching of how late a student stayed up to complete his homework is generally rightly met with a question of how long he first dicked around on facebook etc before getting started.
    Kids haven’t changed, but some new challenges and shitty moves by some adults have sent new curve-balls their way, as with every generation.
    What has (always) remained is that they’re never boring, often hilarious, struggling to work out their identities, and more frank and honest than most adults. Of course, all the immaturity and hormone bullshit still exists, but that’s nothing new.
    I love that a few weeks ago someone discovered a clay tablet in an Egyptian ruin 3500 years old that said, in effect, “What will we do with kids these days? They don’t follow our morals, they don’t respect their elders, and they’re going to ruin the society we built.” They said it then, they said it about the “Greatest” generation when they were kids, and every generation in between.

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  2. Ehren

    I am no expert on young people, but I will say that my anecdotal experience is that people in their 20s seem to be less sarcastic and more into volunteering than I feel my generation was.

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  3. D

    Coming to you from my Vicodin induced state stemming from a herniated disk, I offer the following: “Kids today sure are challenged by technology in a way we never were.”
    As someone who was, charitably speaking, a late bloomer (and coming of age in the 80’s on Long Island did not help the cause), I was desperate to be liked and accepted by the cool kids in HS and a lesser extent, college. Who knows what kind of Facebook/twitter/texting/securing trail my insecurity might have led me to create? And these messages and images remain on a far more “permanent record” than our middle school guidance counselors ever thought about.
    As a prosecutor since the mid-90s, I have seen the internet and its modes of communication seamlessly integrate itself as an instrumentality and/or source of crime. This began with date rapists or gang members bragging about their exploits in sex and violence on MySpace back in the early 2000s. And in my last few years of prosecuting large-scale fraud within companies, I have routinely found “smoking guns” in various executive’s emails, blogs, text messages and fb pages. These are middle-aged, highly educated, high net-worth people who should know that if you use technology to do bad things, someday, someone like me will find it.
    Now imagine being 16 or even 21, and deciding in an instant to send a photo of yourself to friends or the guy/girl you like posing in a way you think will make you seem cool or grown up. You don’t think it will leave the domain where you sent it or be there years later when you are applying to school or interviewing for a job. You are a 15-26 yo and you likely don’t think beyond the weekend. Suffice to say, if this technology had been around when I was in your target demographic, I am quite sure I wouldn’t have been admitted to Carolina or any schools of similar (or any) quality. As a parent of an 11 yo about to enter middle school, I think training my daughter to use technology/social media intelligently is one of the trickiest and most important things we have to do for her.

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  4. Scott

    – not reading any comments before I post this –
    I was going to write this: “imbued with a sense of privlege and entitlement that is unnerving. In some ways, this is great. I’m happy that they are placing value on life/work balance and inner happiness, but COME ON!”
    But this is just not true. I mostly work with kids in this age bracket that are entrepreneurs. They are bright, inquisitive, driven and full of ideas that will completely change the world in which we live. They are, like most kids through the ages, blissfully unweighted down by the baggage that comes from turning 30 or 40 or 50. They have no idea what they can’t accomplish, so they just do it.
    From my perch, peering into the next generation – the world is in fine shape and we will all be better off once they take over.

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  5. ally

    Like Scott, my knee jerk impulse was to write about the entitlement and need for hand -holding of today’s youth, but then considered some of the young people in my life. I mostly stand in awe of their poise and self-confidence. And their self-awareness.
    The young people in my world are very aware that society has decided they’re a bunch of self-entitled, spoon-fed, cyborgs.
    I’m in my 40s and am proud to count many 20-somethings as my good friends and trusted advisors.

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  6. erica

    young.
    I guess that makes me old, but whenever I see some (to me) baby-faced person driving, buying beer, etc. I think – no way is he/ she old enough to be doing that. Then I get the gut check of the “You must be born after this date in 1991” sign and realize people born after I graduated college are legally drinking.

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  7. Salem Suber

    More kids from these days think racists and homophobes are stupid. When I was ten, if my President or my Governor had condemned same sex marriage, I would have condemned same sex marriage.
    When it comes to equality and compassion, my 10 year old daughter can sniff out a dumbass grownup in a heartbeat.

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  8. Elizabeth

    In some ways, more physically adept. I just watched a youtube video of my niece’s high school cheerleading team. These days, you have to perform a roundoff, back handspring, then back flip with a twist. Back in my day (the eighties) you could get by with barely doing a cartwheel.

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