I write for young adults. I do so partly because I have a background in high-school education (and so have spent a fair bit of time with young adults) and mostly because I think teenagers and young adults are wonderful. The vast majority of young people I have met are polite, funny, conscientious, caring and hard-working. So I’m always surprised when people tell me the youth of today are the devil.
I was born in 1984. Depending on which source you use, I am either a Gen-X, a Gen-Y or a Millennial. By all accounts I am lazy, unmotivated, technology obsessed and unable to put my bra on without announcing it on Twitter.
And yet I am none of these things.
And nor are my friends and siblings.
And nor are the children of my friends who are entering their teens and twenties.
Equally, my Baby Boomer parents are not aging leeches sucking the blood from younger generations. They have worked hard all their lives, raised four children and are now enjoying some down time.
All groups of young people have irritated their elders. It’s just part of being young. Remember that Elvis was once considered indecent and Lady Chatterley’s Lover was the 1920’s answer to Fifty Shades of Grey.
Human-beings like to label things and being able to bemoan the values of those younger (or older) than us makes us feel good. But the truth is we’re all following a similar path. We start young and we get older. We like things that are parents don’t understand and then we like things are children don’t understand.
Just as you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you shouldn’t judge a person by their ‘generation’. If you do, you might miss out on a getting to know a fantastic person, whatever their age.