Does anyone think that today's young people are worse than past generations? I say yes for various reasons.I am reading a book called "Generation Me". I say yes to this question because of the...

Does anyone think that today's young people are worse than past generations? I say yes for various reasons.

I am reading a book called "Generation Me". I say yes to this question because of the media and advancements in technology we have compared to past generations.  We lack the responsibility and manners our parents and grandparents had.

Expert Answers
thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My first response to this question is to say that it is by recognizing the faults in your own generation that you are most likely to be part of the solution. The fact that you are asking this, rather than simply accepting the values of your peers, suggest, paradoxically, that in fact by your very ability to see the problems with your peers, instead of just thinking what is currently trendy is good and everything earlier is bad, leads to the possibility that you may become one of the young leaders who can try to make things better by avoiding egotism and the cult of the new.

I would say that each period has different problems – and that individuals born at the same time differ greatly, some sharing in the characteristic faults of their periods and some not. What matters most is that many different voices are heard, rather than people simply falling into accepting whatever the current fashions are. Because mass media does make certain values (especially materialism and selfishness, in the west) so pervasive, working against it will be hard, but, as St. Paul said: 'And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not'.

catd1115 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Our society lends itself to the older generation criticizing the younger generation. It has always happened and always will. We cannot judge any generation based on the viewpoint of the generation(s) before.

As for the current generation I have mixed feelings because it is clear that the behavior and attitudes of many young people are undesirable and in too many cases despicable. Unfortunately though my experience has shown me that the values and attitudes of the younger generation are deteriorating because they lack the support and education of the older generation. If we don't teach young people appropriate and moral ideas and behavior, how do we expect them to have any ideas about them? The current generation is deteriorating because they are constantly bombarded by negative and morally ambigious (if not outright wrong) images, and ideas from every angle without any balance of positivity and morally right ideas coming from home, church, school and the community, where these values have traditionally been learned.

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'm not sure if worse is the right word.  Certainly, this generation is very different from those that came before.  Technology has led to changes in what is socially acceptable.  When I was growing up, young people were taught to speak and behave a certain way toward their elders or those in authority roles.  This is no longer the case.  Many young people aren't taught the same social skills and rules that once abounded.  The same can be said for responsibility.  Young people these days are not taught to take responsibility for their actions or their roles in events.  Media, celebrities, and other popular resources teach that we should blame others and that it cannot really be our fault.  Young people are also far more impatient these days.  Technology allows us to have things instantly.  I can get fast food in about five minutes.  I can find the answer to my questions on Google in about five seconds.  Students are often unwilling to put in the time and effort to learn in the way their predecessors did.

stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In what sense? All young people? I think your question is so broad as to be impossible to address.

Every generation has had challenges and temptations. Every generation has had some individuals who have risen above those problems, while others have become involved in every socially negative behavior available.

The explosion of media and rapid communications has made it easier to become aware of individuals acting out in inappropriate ways (which makes them the more newsworthy actions, unfortunately), but that does not necessarily condemn the entire generation. Personally, I have greater concern about the work ethic of some members of the current generation and how it will (or will not) serve them when they are trying to establish careers.

enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Stereotyping a whole generation in the single word "worse" is a dangerous proposition. Just because someone was born in a particular era should not imply they are any better or worse than those from another era.  Clearly they are different; youth of today are different than those of 50 years ago.  Youth of 50 years ago were very different than their parents; that is where the term "Generation Gap" first made an appearance.  The "Greatest Generation" certainly had individuals who would not pass any of today's standard of conduct.

Certainly the culture has changed.  Maybe the question should be broadened to ask if the cultural changes we have seen are for the better or for the worse.

vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'm inclined to agree with the first response. It's difficult to generalize about any entire generation of people; the fact that you are asking this question suggests that there are thoughtful people who are members of your generation. It does seem, however, that by various criteria cultural standards have declined in the last fifty years -- perhaps partly because it was a time of relative economic prosperity. That period may now be over, at least for a while.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The older generation has always criticized the younger generation.  But, the young people of the Baby Boomers certainly caused their ethical and frugal parents who had been born into or shortly after the Depression great perturbation.  And, they created a social revolution that gave birth to many of the dilemmas yet existant in America today. 

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I, too, have to agree that the question is far to open. While I have seen many changes in the youth of today, I would not feel comfortable saying all youth are "worse" than in the past. I can state that in some areas, I have seen a decrease in the appreciation of education (again, this is only in some areas).

alexb2 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The book sounds like an interesting read. I don't think "worse" is the right word, though, but the book definitely paints things with that brush.



caglatekeli | Student

İ think every generation said the same thing for previous ones.

I remember a quote from a philosopher saying something like "the milk was better in my youth, the cheese was more tasty"

said hundreds of years ago