When I started teaching full time at the university level
last fall, I was subjected to three “training” days before the semester began.
These days included webinars and other sessions directed toward particular
things like technology in the classroom or plagiarism.
But the lecture that started it out was “Kids These Days!”
Since that “Kids these days” lecture, I’ve had to listen to
multiple older persons—most notably the former hippies from the sixties—lament
what is wrong with everyone born after 1980.
And frankly, I’m [expletive deleted] tired of it.
As a “Millenial,” I’ve been told that members of my
are narcissistic and obsessed only with what we
can put on our Facebook pages or otherwise use to draw attention to ourselves
are not hard workers, and expect things to come
easily to us in our work lives
have a sense of entitlement and feel we should
have a trophy or reward for every accomplishment or attempt at an
are so involved in technological toys that we
have little concern or understanding of “the real world”
I listened to this in the lecture, and sank lower in my
seat…I started to feel badly that I used my phone to text instead of call,
thinking it was quicker and less likely to interrupt someone else’s important
tasks. Silly me, there I go thinking again. Which, apparently, is one of the
skills that my generation lacks.
Says the generation who spent their 20’s on acid.
I recently attended a literary lecture with a famous author,
who commented on how the youth of America were not attuned to the world around
them. I looked around at the nodding, greying heads, and noticed that they were
doing the following activities:
knitting and cross stitch
Sudoku and crossword puzzles
And finally, the icing on the
PLAYING ON THEIR COMPUTERS, IPADS, AND
*Ring, ring.* “Hello, pot. This is kettle. You’re black."
The very same people Tom Wolfe described as “The Me
Generation” in the 1970s are surprised when they see similar traits appear in
For the older generation who believes everything they read
on the internet to be truth, let me fill you in on what you appear to be
missing, in reference to my points above:
Everyone is narcissistic. That’s human nature.
Facebook provides an outlet for that. But it also provides a way to keep in
touch (or get back in touch) with friends and colleagues of old, many of whom
are important to our personal and business lives.
When I announce to Facebook that I’ve
learned to sail, I’m only partly doing it to toot my own horn. I’m also doing
it because I once said I’d do it, and maybe my completing that long-ago planned
task will encourage one of my long-ago friends to do the same. Their posts
about the goings-on of their lives certainly do that for me.
I don’t know who your sample pool is for the
lazy of my generation, but I’m going to take a guess that they learned that
from their parents. There are lazy people in every generation. My family put me
to work in the family business at the age of 6, and people scoffed at them,
telling them we were subjected to child labor and how would we ever just be
Newsflash: children are in training
for adulthood. And by working as a child, I learned that working as an adult
was not only necessary, but fulfilling. As I’ve said in previous posts about
other aspects of my upbringing: Thanks, Mom. Thanks, Dad. Thanks, Mamaw and
Daddad. Thanks, Mommom and Poppop.
When I was a kid, I got trophies for
“participation.” It was understood that these were trophies that could have as
easily been labeled “loser who sucks at this.” Kids know.
But if you really see it as a
problem, STOP GIVING OUT SO [EXPLETIVE DELETED] MANY.
Rewards for accomplishments are
like Pavlov’s dog. Ring the bell, and we think it’s dinnertime.
I always giggle when people look at technology
and are afraid of it. I’m not incapable of shutting off, and regularly do so.
Not everyone in my generation does this, but not everyone in my generation
sings opera, either.
As to our involvement in technology
keeping us from the real world, I’ve got another newsflash: the world is
becoming digital. And stopping that will be like my grandchildren trying to
stop their robot overlords from enslaving them.