Dishing out the discourse between generations and why it needs to stop

Shattered stopwatch illustration made by Nyla Kërr using Procreate
Shattered stopwatch illustration made by Nyla Kërr using Procreate

“Kids these days,” says any parent when their child isn’t living the same life that they remembered living. 

“Kids these days,” says any adult who doesn’t understand today’s children to a certain degree because they’re living in a different day and age with problems that are just not the same as they were back then.

Many parents and older people have (begrudgingly) grumbled about “kids these days”, and I don’t know about you, but those words are on my list of things that keep me up at night. 

So why does this happen? 

Story continues below advertisement

I call this a generational disconnect, and it all boils down to the fact that generations are quirky, but not in a bad way. Every generation just has its own uniqueness that is both beautiful and the root of confusion and misunderstanding. (I’m looking at you, Gen Alpha.)

So let’s chat about it, shall we? 

As a member and representative of Gen Z, and a person who uses technology as a large amount of the population does, I couldn’t help but notice that there was a time where Buzzfeed really went overboard on stereotypes among generations. I mean, I was having an absolute field day seeing what was being said about my generation and I (unfortunately) fell down a rabbit hole that I just kept digging further down.

I really should’ve just stopped digging, but I had a revelation.”

— Nyla Kërr

My digging led me to Google and all of a sudden I realized that I don’t like how Gen Zers are looked at by other generations. I don’t like how my parents and grandparents look at me and ask, “What is it with your generation?” Moreover, I don’t like how any of the generations are perceived by other generations because there are misconceptions, and they can be as simple as thinking that all baby boomers don’t know how to work a modern TV. Sure, these misconceptions are entertaining, but you know what they are also?

Annoying. 

I blame social media. It’s a big player in this generational disconnect. News is everywhere and it spreads like wildfire. The craziest thing about it is that all it takes is highlighting a few individuals or putting a group of people in a box to create misunderstandings.  Did you know that Gen Z is the loneliest, most disturbed generation according to Google? (I can practically hear the chorus of parents chanting “It’s because of that phone!”)

But are we really messed up, or is it just that we’re now living in a day and age where things are just different? Before anyone decides to have a concrete perception of how they think any generation works, maybe instead of complaining or listening to based stereotypes, we should try to just accept that we’re different, that times and standards have changed, and use them to our benefit. Granted, we are all going to forever playfully poke fun at the “older” generations and observe the oddities of future generations, but it doesn’t have to be the reason why we think that “kids these days” aren’t hard-working or that “kids these days” can’t socialize or be “normal” because of technology. 

We are human and we evolve. Our environment evolves too, so we adapt.”

— Nyla Kërr

Fifty years ago, playing outside with friends was the thing to do, similar to how playing video games with friends is also the thing to do now. With the incorporation of technology, what is considered more socially acceptable has changed because we changed to adapt to our era. It doesn’t mean that the newer generations can’t socialize. It just means that their means for communication has changed, and that’s okay. Any social media platform that does short-form content like Tiktok, Youtube shorts, and Instagram reels thrives on content based on stereotypes. I have nothing against this content because it can be entertaining, but when is it too much? When are these stereotypes inadvertently compromising our abilities to be more tolerant? Is it when people begin making Skibidi Toilet Syndrome jokes? Or when people make videos begging Gen Z to not have another generation of iPad kids? (That Instagram reel was satirical I think, but I wouldn’t put it past them if it wasn’t…) Or maybe Buzzfeed’s never-ending collection of articles centered around topics like comparing generations. 

Or maybe, just maybe, it is a little bit of everything. We live in an era now where technology is unavoidable. Social media is unavoidable, and all it takes is one video, one news headline, or one Google search to make a person stop and think, “Oh yeah. That just goes to show…Kids these days…”

So to whoever this may find, this is your gentle reminder to not take what you see or hear at face value. Stop and think about things from another perspective, to consider that we are living in a world where people, yourself included, are just trying to adapt to an ever-changing environment. Each generation is different. Each generation is beautiful and unique, so “kids these days” is nothing out of the ordinary because we’re all kids at some point in time.

Donate to McIntosh Trail - The Student News Site of McIntosh High School
$250
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation supports the student journalists of McIntosh High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase photography equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

About the Contributor
Nyla Kërr
Nyla Kërr, Staff
Nyla Kërr is spending her first year on the McIntosh Trail staff for the 23-24 school year. She has always been passionate about writing and has been honing her craft for the past five years. Kërr received the President’s Award for Educational Excellence and competed in and won a speech and debate competition at both the school and county levels. Now, her top priority is surviving this school year and further developing her personal writing skills through journalism. Outside of school, she enjoys drawing, hanging out with friends and fighting to learn how to ride her low-quality, fixer-upper skateboard. The skateboard wins most days.
Donate to McIntosh Trail - The Student News Site of McIntosh High School
$250
$500
Contributed
Our Goal