Why stereotypes about the younger generation are wrong

Dear Ceanray,

Did you know that teenagers are lazy? All we care about is our phones and social media accounts. We have no respect for people older than us, the environment, or the world around us. At least, this is what we are made out to be. You know as well as I do that none of those things are true. Yet some people believe they are.

Teenagers are not lazy – we’re incredibly hardworking. Our hands are full with school work and preparing for postsecondary education, and most of us take part in co-curriculars like clubs or sports (and sometimes multiple co-curriculars). That’s not to mention the fact that many teenagers have part-time jobs, some work more than one job, and some are involved in competitive level-sports.

Sure, we might lie in bed on our phones occasionally; but with so much going on in our lives, who can blame us?

That brings me to another stereotype about teenagers: that we are addicted to using our phones and technology. We do use our technology a lot, but in my opinion this isn’t a bad thing. We connect with our friends and people we care about through texting and social media, and talking to people we care about just shows that, well, we do care!

In addition, by using our technology we are able to connect with the world outside of our own world. Yes, we know this world exists; and yes, we care about it. Keeping up to date with current affairs and breaking news gives us a deeper understanding of the world we live in – and what we can do to make it a better place.

I like to think of this blog as one way that you and I try to make the world a better place. It was partly because of our connection to the world through the internet and social media that we were inspired to write about issues that matter to us.

That’s the other thing – issues do matter to us. If this blog isn’t proof enough of this, look to 17 year old Malala Yousafzai who was shot in the head but continued to fight for girls’ rights to education. She is the perfect example that there are many issues in the world that affect teenagers, and that teenagers can make an incredible difference fighting for those causes.

The truth is that we teenagers have an incredible amount of respect for the world around us. It might give us a lot of doubt and stereotypes, but above that it has given us a chance to prove those stereotypes wrong. And I know that’s exactly what our generation will continue to do.

Here’s to teenagers!

Sherina

Dear Sherina,

You make excellents points in regards to how older generations sometimes view our generation. In my opinion, I would not be as engaged and as well informed as I am without social media. Newspapers and newscasts can sometimes present a one-sided perspective on global events – while the internet can help us paint a bigger picture. This appreciation for the ways that technology helps us become informed citizens is shared by many of my peers.

As you mentioned, teens often juggle schoolwork with multiple co-curriculars in addition to the constant pressure to get into a respected post-secondary institution. Although I am a few years away from graduation, I am already feeling the aforementioned pressure. Therefore, I do not find statistics that show 25% of North American teens suffer from an anxiety disorder surprising.

There are also intergenerational shifts in social attitudes that affect how we view issues such as gay marriage, trans+ people and so on. While at a family dinner a few days ago, the topic of gay marriage was brought forward. It was fascinating to see the difference in approach to this topic in relation to the ages of my family members. My grandparents grew up in an era where homosexuality was a taboo that was not discussed; I have grown up in an era where (for the most part) acceptance of other human beings regardless of sexual orientation was taught within the school curriculum.

When I was around ten years old, my parents made it clear to me that whether I was attracted to men or women made no difference to them. I was their child, and they would love me for who I was. As I look back on these conversations, I realize that my ten year old self found this incredibly reassuring.

I am incredibly proud of how far our generation has come not only in relation to our contribution to technological advancements, but how we view others.

Ceanray

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16 thoughts on “Why stereotypes about the younger generation are wrong

  1. I agree that young people get a bad rap. Though I’m not a teenager anymore, I’m proud to be a part of Gen Y (who are innovative, who care about the world and the well-being of others, and who measure their worth partly through their impact on the world). That said, you two sound like stand-out examples. I personally know some teenagers who have no interest in current events or the world beyond Facebook.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your feeback, Jhaneel 🙂 We love to see other Gen Ys making a difference in the world! It’s a shame that others don’t share the same interest, hopefully that’ll change sooner rather than later

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Sherina and Ceanray for being such thoughtful teenagers – not lazy at all! I know you to be engaged in the issues of our world – at times, quite passionately! This kind of a shared blog would not have been possible when I was a teen. So your thoughts lead me to wonder if there’s something about “teenage-hood” that evokes reaction from others, no matter the era in which they grew up. When I was a teen it was said that we watched too much TV and spent hours on the phone. That was cause for criticism. We listened to too much raucous music and our skirts were too short. So I’d argue that criticism of teens isn’t new. But then, that’s the very basis of stereotyping – we don’t take time to understand people who are different than we are. We lump a group together and deny their uniqueness and individuality.

    One final word – even for those of us who are older and grew up with certain stereotypes about groups of people – it doesn’t mean we don’t change our viewpoints over time! Seniors are not stuck in the past and incapable of changing their minds. That’s another stereotype!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Funny that older people would say that… As I am pretty sure that those older people used to hang on their phones or in front of the TV when they were teenagers… You have some pretty good points there! Well said!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: My Picks Of The Week #15 | A Momma's View

  5. Girls,
    What a good way in which to confront rather ‘ignorant people,’ if you will. This will definitely call for discussion. And I think it’s needed. I think all generations are stereotyped in some way or another, which is not always right. I like your take on it!

    xo P!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is such an interesting concept – I really like the idea of having conversations between people on the Internet.

    I remember reading an article a long time ago about how the idea that the younger generation was “ruining everything” has been around since classical times. That idea occurs with each generation

    IMHO, I can’t help but be optimistic about the future, because regardless of all the bad that’s happening now, humanity hasn’t given up yet. We remain hopeful.

    Liked by 1 person

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