“Kids these days”: why older people should stop judging our generation as lazy


Bella Mora

Millennials and Gen Z’ers have recently become targets for older generations to mock. The Sidekick staff writer Shivi Sharma explains why this stereotype is due to a changing society and not laziness.

Shivi Sharma, Staff Writer

As long as the Earth continues to turn, older generations will continue to look down upon their posterity, maybe with a look of disgust or a cliche “In my day…”. Though such thoughts are often expressed in agitation, it is important to look at the significance behind them.


Are we really as “lazy” as we are told?


While our constant devotion to our screens or our inability to fully acknowledge our privileges at times may be infuriating to many parents or grandparents, judging younger generations as “lazy” is indicative of a deeper generational gap. This general assessment of scorn seems largely due to  previous generations disliking the abandonment of what they perceive as social norms.


The overarching human mindset is thought to be one of progress: our grandparents worked to provide better lives for their children, and our parents for us. The last 20 years have seen tremendous progress in terms of globalization and technological leaps and bounds. This progression also means the society our parents grew up in has evolved, the hurdles they faced eliminated or replaced by new ones. Growing up today means reaping certain privileges, such as efficiency of information.


“We have everything right at our fingertips,” Coppell High School junior Shruthi Sankar said. “We don’t have to go to the library to find out certain information; we can just search it up on our phones.”


Though we may not always use the countless resources available to us to their fullest extent, they greatly supplement our education and have changed the focus of classrooms and workplaces to be more technological.  


The awareness that comes from knowing about global disparities and reality of political and social issues educates us and allows us to form our opinions early, perhaps even forcing us to grow up faster.


Service-mindedness is embraced more in the current generation. Volunteering at a young age has become more of a norm, due to clubs and service organizations offered in schools. In the United States between 1989 and 2006, the amount of teens volunteering doubled, going from 13.4 percent to 26.4 percent.


The effect of increasing globalization also includes the pitfalls of instantaneous connection and constantly being “plugged in” to the events of our friends and the world as a whole. The “social media mindset” may make us the generation most driven to look a certain way and curate best versions of ourselves. As our feeds are again and again flooded, empty needs of gratification or reassurance from likes or comments arise.


“The psychology of kids today is affected by things like Facebook and Twitter, and they may have anxiety or depression issues because of the increase in social media,” CHS business teacher Kelly Revis said.


In workplaces, the previously separate spheres of “work and play” mix more in the lives of young people. Nine-to-five jobs and school days are currently pockmarked by social media breaks and music. Companies such as Google or Facebook that exemplify corporate culture have come to accommodate luxuries such as volleyball courts and massages for employees. Offices and schools are also more collaborative, encouraging teamwork on tasks, something that may have constituted to “laziness” years ago.


“I don’t think Millennials are lazy, they just view the world in a whole different way, because we are so globalized now,” Revis said.


Today’s young people may have a reputation for being brash or outspoken, but why condemn an entire cohort of people for the actions of a few?


Such perceptions are part of the double-edged sword of giving young people a bigger platform, dually used for complaining about “relatable” moments in our lives and speaking about problems we care about. Teens in Parkland, Fla., incited nationwide protests against gun violence after experiencing a school shooting firsthand last year.


More recently, midterm voter turnout for those between ages 18-29 increased by 10 percent, with those of younger ages realizing the importance of having their voices heard. Outspokenness can spur change.


“Social media definitely gives more power to younger generations,” Sankar said. “Because everyone’s more connected, if there’s a problem going on in one city, we can make it public and bring attention towards it and get that problem fixed.”


The world’s shift towards being heavily technological in the past 20 years has affected every aspect of life, making the upbringing of children now starkly different from that of their parents. The fact is, at least in this part of the world, we have been and are being raised differently than our predecessors.


Even if you do believe that technology is making today’s kids progressively lazier, expressing those notions is simply counterproductive. We should accept that the world is changing and will continue to, and work towards amending generational disconnect rather than perpetuating stereotypes.