Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why I'm Afraid of Young People

People try to put us d-down (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Just because we get around (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I hope I die before I get old (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
-The Who, "My Generation"

I know I'm getting old. At least I feel like I am. I mean, I'm still in relatively good health and I haven't even hit middle age yet, but it just feels like I'm falling behind the times.

Young People terrify me. I know every generation says the one coming after them is useless, but come on - it's never been this bad, has it? Kids are growing up SO differently then they were even twenty years ago. They have access to so much technology and information than we could never dream of, and they take it for granted. I'm pretty comfortable with it because I've grown up with and adapted to it, but kids born in the last ten years or so won't even REMEMBER a time before smart phones and wireless internet, before GPS and social networking and access to Wikipedia and Google.  They will have a COMPLETELY different view of the world and how it works, and it frightens me to imagine what that view will be.

These are children who grew up glued to iPads and iPhones to keep them constantly occupied and in their own little world, never having to entertain themselves or talk to others when their family goes out for dinner and learn to have a conversation and social skills. They have Netflix and YouTube to watch whatever they want to watch, whenever they want to.  They don't have to wait for a particular show to come on at a particular time and learn to be patient and look forward to things.  They won't talk to people on the phone or in person or share secrets between friends - they will text and Tweet and put everything out on Facebook for the world to see, knowing nothing of how to build actual relationships and not learning the importance of having or respecting privacy.

Am I wrong? I mean, this is the way the world is going, and they are getting prepared to live in a smaller yet more isolated world where information comes at you from a thousand sources at all times and communication is completely different. Am I really afraid of what the young people are becoming, or of the world they're coming into? My parents and their parents and their parents feared wars and famines and disease. I fear that my kids and their kids will live in a world where no human being actually has physical contact with another, and everyone lives in insulated little bubbles of virtual life. And I'm afraid that kids are going to like it better that way.

Plus, I really hate their music.  I haven't like any music that has come out since the year 2000.

Fuck I sound old.
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