bridging the generational gap: an opinion editorial

by melody seraydarian - originally published on teenink.com

Lazy. Entitled. Self-absorbed. Generation “Me Me Me”. The wasted generation. If you’re anything like me, then at some point in your life, you’ve heard an insult along those lines directed toward teenagers and quite frankly, I am sick of it. I am sick of adults who had life much easier, regardless of growing up without the technological advances we had, constantly making comments about the “good old days” where people actually worked for what they wanted. Generation X, the people born in the early-to-mid 1960s to the early 1980s, do not seem to understand the problems modern-day teenagers have to undergo. Yes, it’s easy to look at us and pass judgement, but ultimately, every single one of our futures are doused with a level uncertainty that Generation X had the privilege to be ignorant to.

Uncertain economic lives are something that are constantly on our mind. The very idea of not having an economically sound future is not only one of our worries, it is a fast-approaching reality. Since the 1990s, it has become harder and harder to find a well-paying job. Jobs are becoming more refined and are requiring more schooling and skills that aren’t optional or opportunistic. “People need to constantly be learning and keeping their skills up to date as technology changes and evolves,” economist Brad Hershbein said.

The one argument adults usually use as evidence to prove that our generation is lazy and has no work ethic is the technology argument. However, what they seem to forget is the neverending exposure that comes with the usage of the internet. Cell-phones, computers, and other devices with internet access are the perfect aid that cut innocence and childhood short. Between the ages of 12 and 20, the human brain is at a period of great neuroplasticity. So in turn, when a teenager views pornography, the chemistry of their brain is shaped around the situations they undergo and the things they watch, including pornography. This creates an unrealistic picture of body image and relationships that can affect real-life choices.

In this day and age, teenagers are held up to an incredibly unrealistic standard. This has to do with the fact that most jobs and opportunities require specialized training that takes a much longer time to study than in prior years. These days, a student-athletes needs to play a sport all year with the commitment level of a professional to even be considered for a scholarship. Adults didn’t have this problem. Though things were somewhat similar, it is much harder now to meet your goals.

“Those of us who live with teenagers and are around them can see something that is different about this generation,” Dr. Lisa Damour, an adolescent psychologist, said. And it’s true. Our generation are the fighters and peacemakers, the dream-havers and dream-followers, the inventors and innovators, the artists, the scholars, and everything in between. We are the generation that must hurdle through impossible obstacles to get to where we want. And trust me, we are going to get to where we want because nothing worth having comes without a struggle.

works cited

Parker-Pope, Tara Are Today’s Teenagers Smarter and Better Than We Think?, 2018. Web.

Foster, B.J. Reasons Being a Teenager is Harder Than It Was in Our Day, 2016. Web.

Leonhardt, David Old vs. Young, 2012. Web.

Damour, Lisa Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions Into Adulthood, 2016. Print.

Twenge, Jean Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?, 2017. Web.

Guo, Jeff The two reasons it really is harder to get a job than it used to be, 2016. Web.

Katehakis, Alexandra Effects of Porn on Adolescent Boys, 2011. Web.