Oh, them young folks!

At a conference on photography recently, some people were complaining about the apparent state teenagers were in, when it came to their media consumption and interaction with the world online. I immediately felt old. I wondered if I had already reached the point in my life where I am surrounded by people complaining about them young folks. I recently turned 40, but somehow, I expected that I might experience this clash between the generations for some more years either from the other side or as a neutral bystander. But maybe I have to get used to this debate, since more might follow in the years to come.

I am bad in remembering quotes, maybe because I am too easily triggered by certain buzzwords, but some in the conference were addressing their concern that young people today might have just become too easily influenced by advertising and they were following the promises made blindly. It was something to that note. That brings me back to something I find extremely important not to forget. In general, other people are not more stupid than you are, even though from your perspective, reaching this conclusion seems very easy. Maybe it has something to do with our survival instinct and with the way evolution has shaped us. There might be some variations in the level of stupidity in some people around you, but as a whole, every generation seems equally cursed.

Bashing other generations is certainly not new, there always seems to be something older and younger generations do that can be considered offensive.

To address some of the concerns voiced by the people at the conference:

Maybe young people are media savvy. I guess, even more so than any other generation. Maybe they understand the way advertising tries to influence them. Maybe it is something the feel good to live with. Maybe some don’t get every miniscule detail yet, but that might be OK as well. Judging the generation I grew up within … we ourselves have not really proven to be the highpoint of human development. There are as many morons in my generation as in any other. And in some aspects of life, I might easily be classified as a moron myself. No one always shine brightly.

Maybe they want to chose they own gender roles. Maybe some of these roles might appear to older people as if they were making a step backwards. Maybe some of them are happy to appear more conservative. That is the way they choose for themselves. I see this only as an issue, once they themselves try to pressure others into their set of classifications.