Submitted By nebbie54
“Me Me Me” generation. Narcissistic. Self-absorbed. Among other insults, this is what the parents of the world’s current generation are calling them. Parents these days are putting a lot of emphasis on the following generation’s supposed laziness and huge ego, but somehow, many overlook their own selfish ways. Kids and teenagers now deal with the media, online bullying, a struggling economy, record high tuition, intense stress on body image, social inequality, and multitudes of other issues that were not even conceivable when current adults were in their teens. The world’s elders need to accept the fact that they can not relate to the newest generation’s problems, because their aging minds are incapable of understanding the modern dilemmas and technology that children nowadays encounter. Children and teenagers have exploded into social media within the last decade. There is a substantial difference between old and young people in the use of social media websites. Eighty-nine percent of people between 18 and 29 years old use social networking sites, while older users (age 65 and up) hold a measly 29 percent (Stein, Me me me generation). In addition to this, 71% of users of the app “snapchat” are 25 and younger, and in August of this year, an average of 400 million “snaps” are sent per day! (DMR, 25 Amazing Snapchat Statistics) The staggering gap makes it easy to believe that older adults, such as parents, are not so easily hooked onto social websites. While the thirteen year old sits in the living room and tweets all about her day, her mother watches the seemingly useless little blocks of text. There is an obvious generation gap in technology, parents do not understand social media, and they lack understanding at their son’s and daughter’s need to display their actions and ideas on the internet.
Unlike the booming electronics industry, the economy that the world’s youth will deal with is setting them up for failure. Some parents are living with it now, but in a few short years they will be in retirement, while the “Me Generation” is just becoming educated and employed. “The odds of getting hit by a layoff have doubled in the last generation. This combination — high housing debt, rising healthcare costs, lack of savings and greater exposure to unemployment — leaves many in a precarious financial position”(NBC Sullivan). The problem lies more in the fault of the parents. Two generations ago, FDR lifted the United States out of the Great Depression. He built up the nation’s economy with the New Deal and recovery and reform, and the younger generation at that point were able to lift their lives up. In those years, the young generation naively accomplished their dreams, paying no regards to their children, and maintaining a stable economy. As a teenager is reading this, more and more debt is placed on their shoulders. Parents do not understand the economic difficulties that their kids will have to face because they had everything set up for them, and they chose not to relay the favor.
A very sore subject that adults do not get is their kid’s relationships. Back when they were younger, “dating” meant a boy and a girl of the same race, sitting down and paying for a nice dinner, and it did not stray very far from that. Now, there is much more freedom in whom a child dates, and when they go out. Back when the adults were younger, a boy and girl were very committed and open, almost flaunting their relationship as “...millions of teenagers ... went on one or more dates per week”(HONR, Sombat). As cell phones now are virtually always accessible, people in relationships are only a few key taps away, whereas phone calls were sometimes hard to come by back in the day. There is no reason why a teenager now would invest several hours and upwards of fifty dollars twice a week, when video chatting and instant messaging allow such easy communication. Parents only recognize the informality of modern dates, but that is sometimes the only thing that teens can manage.
In a perfect world, everyone would be on the same page. The world is far from perfect, and people are far from open minded. Children and their elders often bump heads about modern social issues. Views on the government, civil rights, religion, and political parties have most definitely changed in the last thirty to forty years. “Parents who are insistent that their children adopt their political views inadvertently influence their children to abandon the belief once they become adults”(Atlantic, Patterson). As daughters and sons become educated and hold their own viewpoints, many households find tension. Modern teenagers show great disdain for our political leaders, but adults only notice the benefits they will receive. A conservative father would find it very hard to understand the viewpoints of a liberal 16 year old girl. In religious families, a conversion may invoke extreme confusion between parent and child. Growing up in different times means that the two age groups have different values, and a parent can not digest how their child views the world.
Back when today’s adults were kids, it was not uncommon for girls to giggle and spread rumors, or boys to scuffle in the school parking lot. A minor conflict out back was hardly grounds for punishment. In fact, many parents (especially dads) encouraged their sons to be “tough”. If a dad were to encourage a fight now, many universal zero-tolerance policies at school would have his son suspended for at least a week. To get around pesky authorities, teenagers resort to using their computers and phones to attack others. Actually, in the past several years, cyberbullying has almost replaced physical bullying. “Over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying. 25 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly”(BullingStats). The completely astronomical numbers of kids being aggressors is scary, and rightfully so. Youngsters glide through the web with ease, it very easy to seem invincible and become anonymous online. Adults never grew up with the online programs or technology that exist today, so the concept of online bullying is almost foreign. “Turning it off” or “ignoring it” is hard to do when the aggressor has access to every public account that a child has. Parents not only do not understand, but occasionally lack sympathy for victims of online bullying. Many argue that adults live through and go through the same experiences as all teens, including teen today. Every adult was a teenager once. In fact, 96.6% of people from 1972-2009 graduated high school. Despite this, the high school completion is no way synonymous with complete understanding. In the 80’s,the concept of a cell phone (or, car phone) was alien. Phones (much less computers, internet, and apps), make high school a whole different planet. Electronics are responsible for almost all of misunderstandings between mother and child, because she hasnt grown up with them. A second hand account on modern teen behavior will in no way appeal a child. Parents to this generation’s children, and the majority of the elderly population do not, and will not understand the life and struggles of a teenager. No matter what any father or mother may argue, read, or watch on tv, there will never be that first-hand comprehension of what it is like to go to school or grow up around modern technology and social media. Parents will never feel as much stress as that of the not yet developed brain of a teenager succumbing to modern peer pressure or body image. The “Me Me Me” generation has a lot on their plates and in their minds, perhaps it is not them who are the ones so obsessed with themselves.…...