The Youth of Today!

Yesterday’s Senior School assembly looked at the question of how each generation is named and put in a box.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
We looked at how the press have dubbed the current generation, unfavourably, as “snowflakes”, more prone to taking offence, too emotionally vulnerable to cope with views that challenge their own and too dependent on technology to understand human contact.
 
But how realistic is that? We looked at unflattering quotes about “The Youth of Today!” that showed how every generation defines the youth of the time in this way.
 
Compare this 2014 quote from Psychology Today that “basic writing skills are in serious trouble today … Teachers have been reporting…. declines in vocabulary, grammar, writing, and analysis” to this one from Gloucester Citizen in 1936: “…many did not seem able to express to other people what they meant. They could not put their meaning into words, and found the same difficulty when it came to writing.”
 
In fact going back throughout history are examples of “The Youth of Today!” being roundly condemned. From 2014’s Vanity Fair: “… their insistence that they are right despite the overwhelming proof that suggests they are not…” to Aristotle, writing in 4th Century BC, that “They think they know everything, and are always quite sure about it.”, it’s clear that every generation thinks the one that follows isn’t up to scratch!
 
So when you read in The Daily Mail in 2016, that “The truth is that America’s kids are a bunch of phone-addicted, selfie-obsessed, hash-tagging, snap-chatting, twerking, lazy, whining narcissists who find absolutely everything offensive”, you only need to compare it to the same newspaper, writing in 1925, that “We defy anyone who goes about with his eyes open to deny that there is, as never before, an attitude on the part of young folk which is best described as thoughtless, rude, and selfish” to realise that the youth of today are as passionate, committed, hard-working and driven as ever.