Why Do Older Generations Scorn At The Lifestyle Of Younger Generations?

As a member of Generation Z, I have experienced my fair share of lectures explaining how life is too easy for me. The youth of today comes under a lot of criticism (as I am sure many previous generations have too) from people of the previous generations. They are labelled as being lazy, ungrateful and selfish. As my own grandfather and step-father often say, “Young people today have no idea how good they have it”.

Maybe this statement is true, but the only reason we live this way is because we have been raised and molded by the generation before us so they should look at themselves before criticizing us for the way we live as it is a direct result of how their generation has shaped the world.

These generational clashes occur in every generation as the older generations lose hope in the younger generations’ ability to face any problems that have not been faced before. There is also an unfamiliarity with new technology and inventions. At the age of which the majority of people in many generations have children, they have, in a sense, become culturally pessimistic and this will also link in with how at this age the desire to try new things fades.

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New developments in technology can be quite daunting for people who feel uncomfortable with technology in general (Image: inbloogle.com)

English satirist, Douglas Adams put it this way;

“Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.”

There will always be differences between generations, both good and bad. This has always been the case. For example, according to The Huffington Post, Generation Z are better multi-taskers in comparison to Millenials (Generation Z). Also, according to Business Insider, Millenials are more tech-savvy than members of Generation X.

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Generation Z are better at multi-tasking than Millenials (Image: jenx67.com)

All older generations criticise younger generations and I think that is something that just happens naturally. I often find myself looking down on my younger siblings or younger people for the way that they do things that I myself would have done differently. There is a sense that the younger generation are living their lives the wrong way and this is because many would like to re-live their youth. But the truth is that times change and things are done differently and no previous generation will be completely content with how the younger generations behave.

This attitude was captured perfectly by cartoonist, Bill Mauldin in a 1950 issue of Life Magazine, which shows how mesmerized people can be by younger generations.

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Bill Mauldin’s cartoon depicting the generational clashes (Image: forbes.com)
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