We are just days into the New Year but it seems that some things just don’t change and society is still intent on bashing its youth.
I dislike the monosyllabic, grunting, underpant-bearing halfwits as much as the next balding middle-aged grouch but these specimens aren’t the flag-bearers of generation, merely the unfortunate by-product who will hopefully grow up into semi-useful human beings.
Not that you would know that if you have read the most recent studies which manage to paint our youth in a less-than-flattering light.
First off, we have the old chestnut that youngsters today do not have as nearly as many friends as they did 20 years ago and, of course, dastardly technology is to blame.
I do accept there is something slightly incongruous about the fact somebody can have hundreds of ‘friends’ or followers on Facebook or Twitter and not actually ever leave the house, but the argument that social media has turned us into shrinking violets who would run a mile rather than strike up a conversation with a real person is a hollow one.
If human beings are forming relationships, regardless of the medium via which they do so, then it can be no bad thing – it wasn’t so long ago that acquiring a pen pal was something adults actively encouraged their young charges to do. What’s the difference between that and Facebook?
Another stick used to beat today’s youngsters is their supposed unreliability in the workplace, which is said to have led to the curious rise of the 60-something apprentice with some 2,500 having recently learned a new trade later in life.
A report I read this week suggested there are now some 1.1m over 65s in employment and are being taken on at a rate three times that of those aged 64 and under. It has been suggested this trend is down to employers tiring of a suspect work ethic in younger staff which is a sweeping generalisation if ever there was one. I would suggest older workers are now finally being given more of a fair crack of the whip than they were as recently as five years ago. Maybe employers have woken up to the fact that having experience in an workplace is not something to be scared of.
What this new trend doesn’t tell you is that younger workers are work-shy fools. Knocking the day’s youth isn’t new but it is just as tedious as it ever was.