Old People Wave Canes About Online 'Kids These Days'

slfisher 0 Tallied Votes 263 Views Share

"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for
authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place
of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their
households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They
contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties
at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

ATTRIBUTION: Attributed to SOCRATES by Plato, according to William L.
Patty and Louise S. Johnson, Personality and Adjustment, p. 277

Even though Socrates likely didn't say that, the sentiment is the same: Older people love to predict what they think kids are going to be doing with their lives.

Last week's Pew Internet and American Life Project report on "millennials" is no exception. "Millennials" are people born 1980 or later, meaning people who are now 30 or later. They've grown up with the Internet and social networking, and Pew wanted to know how they'll act as they age.

However -- perhaps thinking of the Marshall McLuhan quote, "I don't know who discovered water, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't a fish" -- instead of talking to a bunch of millennials, Pew talked to a bunch of old people.

Granted, these were special old people, experts in their field, some of whom had been on the Internet longer than Millenials have been alive: Clay Shirky, Esther Dyson, Doc Searls, Nicholas Carr, Susan Crawford, David Clark, Jamais Cascio, Peter Norvig, Craig Newmark, Hal Varian, Howard Rheingold, Andreas Kluth, Jeff Jarvis, Andy Oram, Kevin Werbach, David Sifry, Dan Gillmor, Marc Rotenberg, Stowe Boyd, Andrew Nachison, Anthony Townsend, Ethan Zuckerman, Tom Wolzien, Stephen Downes, Rebecca MacKinnon, Jim Warren, Sandra Brahman, Barry Wellman, Seth Finkelstein, Jerry Berman, Tiffany Shlain, and Stewart Baker. These are old people I read, old people I respect, old people I quote, and, in some cases, old people who are my personal friends.

Still: old people.

So, what did the old people conclude? Two-thirds of them believe the following: “By 2020, members of Generation Y (today’s “digital natives”) will continue to be ambient broadcasters who disclose a great deal of personal information in order to stay connected and take advantage of social, economic, and political opportunities. Even as they mature, have families, and take on more significant responsibilities, their enthusiasm for widespread information sharing will carry forward.”

Only one-third believed this: “By 2020, members of Generation Y (today’s “digital natives”) will have “grown out” of much of their use of social networks, multiplayer online games and other time‐consuming, transparency‐engendering online tools. As they age and find new interests and commitments, their enthusiasm for widespread information sharing will abate.”

(The old people had a lot more to say, too; the report is worth downloading and reading in its entirety.)

It certainly makes sense. It seems like a safe prediction: Kids will continue acting the way they are now.

On the other hand, social mores change -- look at what happened with marijuana, which many people thought would be legalized when the kids of the 1960s became political leaders. "In 1970, the major media outlets were bemusedly tolerant of pot," writes Jack Herer in The Emperor Wears No Clothes. "The youth culture was on the upswing and the meek seemed poised to inherit the Earth from the military-industrial complex. By 1983, avaricious, conscienceless “me-generation” capitalism had turned back the humanist tide."

Indeed, after the Pew surveys were completed, Facebook growth apparently stalled, due to some combination of saturation, privacy concerns, or users burning out on the games, according to Media Buyer Planner, in an article -- published the day before the Pew study came out.

Dcurvez 0 Junior Poster in Training

well i dont know if you would consider me an "old person" but I am 42 years old. I do agree with the way the times have changed and yes, I do agree that alot of this is due to the influence that is available on the internet.

it wasnt too long ago that I can remember all of the "golden rules" as a kid..sit up straight, dont interupt, do your chores, have some respect, dont take what isnt yours, dont tell lies, and by all means do not be a bully.

it is for sure evident today, watching the kids growing up now..how all of that has changed. you can seperate the rag without a doubt!

the question and the problem I have with pointing my finger at the internet/computer is this:
all of the kids today are being raised by kids of yesterday..what happened to the values we were taught? why are we not teaching those same values to our kids today?
seems to me that the blame does not lie solely on the computer (maybe alot of it, but not all of it) it does however lie at the feet of yesterdays kids.

Believe you me, if we acted up..it didnt matter if it was in public or not..we got a good smack on the backside! you do that to a kid today..they take them away from you.

we as a people have allowed this to happen. we are the ones that did not stand up and say to our governments " we have a right to discipline(spelling) our children in any humane way we see fit" we just sat back and let the government take all of that away from us, now what are we left with??

a generation that is not only without morals and values, but a generation without Consciousness

and the even more frightening thing to this is that the children that the children of today are raising are going to be even worse!

so..we can sit here and blame the internet/computer all we want to..but lets not forget who was in charge around the home with that computer in it..and for sure lets not forget who sat down while the rights were being revoked..

Agilemind 0 Posting Whiz in Training

Why are we, the millennials or the Net-Gen, allowing old people to define us?
We are not without morals -> not a week goes by that there isn't some event supporting a charity going on at my University.
We are not without consciousness -> in fact we are more aware of world events than any generation before us was at our age thanks to the 'evil corrupting' internet.
No we don't follow a strict hierarchical society where a workers worth is measured in how many hours or their life they've spent doing a job and no one is worth listening to before they've spent 10yrs with the company.
Instead our world is based on equality and mutual respect, where everyone is welcome to contribute if they have talent or passion, where a worker's worth is measure in the quantity and quality of their work regardless how many hours it took them to do it or how many yrs experience they have.
Our world is a conversation between peers not a lecture from master to pupil. The Boomers and genX may run the world for now but look out because the echo-boom/millennials are coming and if you don't adapt you'll be left in the dust.

Dcurvez 0 Junior Poster in Training

yes, it is true that in that aspect, the kids of today are much more fortunate than the yesterdays kids..back when women were not allowed to smoke in public..when kids were seen and not heard.

but as I sit here and look around, and speak to some of my yet "older friends" the ones in their 60's...they tell me stories of when they first settled in the towns they are in now, "back in 1970..when we first came here, I remember..no trees, the city was 8 streets"..what i am getting at is this:
the comforts that are available to us today..are this way because of the "yesterdays Kids"..they are the ones that started the ball rolling, they are the ones that started the growth..

we wake up every day, we have electricity, we have cars that go faster than some of us can think, we have equality...which by the way was started with yesterdays kids..they fought for that..and todays kids reap the benefits.

the kids of yesterday are fighters, so, no..left in the dust..never! but give up on a dying situation...yes.

the whole conversation was about "blaming the computers/internet" for the lack or the difference in behavior..
I for one do not agree with that, as it is the parents job to grab control and keep it. if the kid in the home is without manners, without morals..well, you cant rightly blame them..they are just kids! you are the adult..take control and keep it..quit passing the buck off anything that suits you! and for God Sakes...quit spending $100,000.00 on 100,000 people..to do 100,000 tests to come up with something so obvious!

my Gooodness, I will NEVER forget the test they came up with 20 years ago! it was such a big thing! and they made it be known that they spent some UNGODLY amount of money for so many years to finally understand that babies feel the same level of pain that an adult does LOL..are you kidding me???????????

and..by the way..I personally has always wanted to meet the so called "panel of experts" that decide what is acceptible/what is not..what is normal/ what is not..becuase personally I dont ever remember voting anyone into that office..

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