Kids These Days

“Kids these days.” It’s a common phrase often said among adults regarding the newest generation. Trust me, I get it. I work with high school youth and sometimes the trends simply do not make any sense. Throw in three young boys in elementary school and I run the gamut of dealing with children to adolescent rebellion.

Oh, let’s count the ways. I don’t understand the fascination with Fortnite. In my day, we went outside, rode bikes, played ball, and smoked cigarettes behind the McDonalds. I don’t understand the new mumble rap or trap music. It all sounds the same, like watermelon Bubbiliscious that fades after a few chews. In my day, we had 2Pac, Biggie, Andre 300, Eminem, Redman, WuTang, Snoop, Nas, and so many prolific lyricists. I didn’t have social media. We actually met up with our friends at the mall and wandered around with zero dollars in our pocket having the time of our life. We said, “Yes, Sir. No, Ma’am. Thank you very much,” not “No prob.”

We didn’t have cell phones with constant access to entertainment at our finger tips. We were lucky to have a beeper or pager, but if you didn’t have a quarter for the pay phone or the secretary in the school office wasn’t cool, you couldn’t call anyone back. We didn’t need constant stimulation; we knew what being bored was all about.

We rode the bus to school and didn’t have a sense of entitlement. We got real jobs and broke a sweat. We bumped our heads and got back up without claiming a severe concussion. We walked 20 miles in the snow, backwards, with no shoes after having breakfast cereal with water and a fork…

Yeah…

We sound old, huh?

That’s just it. We are older. We aren’t as cool as we once thought we were. We had a different lifestyle, different technology, different social gatherings and etiquette, different everything. I agree with some of the above but when we say these types of things, you know who we sound like?

We sound like our parents.

They said the same thing about us. Their parents said the same thing about them, and so on and so on. Do I think there are components of the younger generation and their environment I do not like or agree with? Of course, but that is because I am not a part of that generation and neither are you. If we take a step back and look at it from this perspective, we may not be so harsh on the youngsters. We might actually take the time to learn what is so intriguing about their ways and generational culture. We still may not like it, but at least we have given them some credence for being exactly what they are intended to be; different from us.

That is the process of evolution, is it not? Things change. People adapt. The world gets bigger or smaller and technology advances everything, for the good or bad, doesn’t matter. It is here. They are here. Instead of trying to control their desires and bring them back to our way of living through lectures and reminiscing of the good ol’ days, we may want to listen.

We may want to learn from them. Hell, out of sheer interest, I am curious as to why things seems so different. Are they really that different? Or are we different? It is an interesting question to reflect upon. The main reason I am most interested in the things I don’t understand about the younger generation is because at some point…

They will be the ones taking care of my old ass. Better to get to know them sooner rather than later. You may want to as well.