Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Why, back in my day we...pretty much did the same things kids do today

You know what makes me laugh?

When people my age post things to Facebook about how our childhoods were so much better and kids today are lazy and they're disrespectful and blah blah blah.

This makes me laugh, because I'm not quite sure exactly what childhoods they're remembering.

I knew a lot of these people as kids, and I don't remember them being especially:

a) Industrious
b) Respectful
c) Polite

A good chunk of them were, without a doubt, terrible little demons. Just like a certain percentage of kids today are terrible little demons.

Just like a certain percentage of kids 100 years ago were terrible little demons.

Are you following me here?

I realize the world has changed, but I just don't think we were necessarily raised any better than today's kids are being raised.

I think it's just a case of many of us now being parents and really noticing how badly suited some people are to being mothers and fathers.

Those same bad parents existed 30 and 100 and 1000 years, you know.

Maybe it's just me, but when someone posts that one item about "I didn't just grow up, I was RAISED," I am tempted to remind them of the time they were suspended for three days for throwing things at a teacher.

But I don't.

The reason, simply put, is the utter futility of arguing on the Internet.

95% of Internet denizens have no real interest in reasoned debate. They are interested in stating their ill-formed opinions, the facts be darned.

They are interested in visiting nut-job, off-brand "news" sites to have these opinions validated. Again, without letting facts and reason get in the way.

So for the most part, I keep quiet.

Not that I don't have ill-formed opinions, by the way. I am probably as misguided as the next person. It's just that I have learned the advantages of silence. Something to do with that old Mark Twain quote about keeping your mouth closed and letting people think you're a fool rather than opening it and removing all doubt.

And let me say that I am in no way attempting to slander my fellow Generation X'ers. It was great growing up in the 70s and 80s. I had a ball.

But this sudden feeling of superiority over the current generation (Millenials? What do we call these kids?) is not our most becoming trait.

Seriously, that guy really did get suspended for throwing things at a teacher. Was he "raised" to do that?


  1. Hi Scott: I like the blog. I'm glad you've returned to writing it. I've read it before and enjoyed it then too, just never been inspired to respond. Until this post. I agree. My sons and their friends are more respectful and engaging than the caste of characters I ran with or me. My bias says it's a result of better engagement between generations (parents and children) than before. My only slight to the younger generation is they are at risk of over stimulation and a desire for distractions, and this weakness threatens their ability to think critically. This collective failing will leave them vulnerable to the whims of the elected class. Otherwise, kids are only as well behaved as they are raised. If you have a problem with a child, our generation can find the answer by looking within themselves and not from pointing fingers.

  2. Very insightful, Jim. I also grew up with an "interesting" cast of characters, and I wondered whether that skewed my point of view. But I think you're spot on in pointing out the over-stimulation issue and the fact that kids are, indeed, only as well-behaved as they're brought up to be. Thanks for reading and commenting!