Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Kids Are Probably All Right

So I'm getting older. It's true. I can handle the physical changes pretty well, but it's the mental aging that sneaks up on me like an IRS audit.

A coworker commented recently that I have been railing against Millennials recently. (She's right, BTW). Millennials, in case you didn't know, is that catch-all term to describe today's 18-29 year-old people. Since I am in Generation Y, they are two gens removed from me.
And even in the span of 10 years, significant differences occur. Here are are some stories that get my blood boiling:

The Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change.
- "They embrace multiple modes of self-expression." Love Facebook, tattoos, optimistic about their financial future, addicted to technology. The types of folks that text people ABOVE the table at dinner.

Author, 17, Says It’s ‘Mixing,’ Not Plagiarism
- A young author copies a page verbatim from another text, and claims that she is just merely sampling from their text, like a DJ might sample a record.

At Obama's urging, goes for young whippersnappers with a YouTube contest

- A Super-snarky 20-something somehow lands a column at the LA Times. He hates, occasionally effectively, at the "old person" government.

So here is the evidence against them. And I start to get miffed, partly jealous about their apparent invincibility and boundless energy, and partly appalled by their brazen arrogance and otherworldly egotism.

But I need to take a breath, because the problem may not just be with them, or with me. It just be that generations are NEVER meant to understand each other. If they did, they probably wouldn't be any different from each other. And since the only constant is change, I guess this generational dissatisfaction is eternal, so I better get used to it.

Yes, it can be comforting to establish the "Get off my lawn" ownership of what's right and wrong and point fingers at the new guys for disrupting the established order of thing. But for everything that the next generation can get wrong, they surely have gotten some things right. Because we "elders" have certainly screwed up and passed the buck, and if they are smart enough to learn from our mistakes, than props are in order.

I am reminded of the Abraham Simpson quote:

The good Lord lets us grow old for a reason: to gain the wisdom to find fault with everything He's made.

And I think that's true, even within ourselves.

1 comment:

Jess said...

Don't hate. haha