Ever since the beginning of time, older generations have almost always been known to put down the generation that followed.
I guess you can call it human nature. There is always an older, and somewhat more conservative generation that will argue that things were done "better back in the day." On the flipside, there will always be a younger generation that believes in new and better ways of doing the same old things.
There are no absolute right and wrong answers in any of this. We'll all have to wait 20 years down the line to use the power of hindsight to correctly evaluate whether things we've decided as a generation happened for the better or for the worse.
People of the internet got together recently to share the things about the new generation that they love. Yes, LOVE. You may have to start thanking them for the many things you're enjoying today.
Memes are basically comic strips... but shorter and straight to the point. So if you're a "Sunday newspaper comic section" type of person, you'll love "Garlic facts", "Zoosmell Pooplord" and many other modern day memes. Keep in mind that many memes require that you have basic levels of cultural knowledge in order to even understand them.
Workplaces are changing
Traditionally, workers were paid by the hour no matter how much work they did or didn't do. Many baby boomers got a chance to work and retire with pensions. Most young people today don't have the same opportunities as past generations did and are forced to be more creative with ways to make money. Thanks to the many freelancers out there, many businesses and workers are realizing that it is more beneficial to get paid once a job has been completed. If you look around YouTube, there are many young people who are choosing to live abroad while traveling and freelancing from Internet cafes instead of being stuck in the same city clocking in and out each day. Many larger companies are doing whatever they can to attract younger minds by putting in incentives like working remotely, amazing break rooms, and cool work spaces.
Most young people don't care about brand names when it comes to clothing
I'm not saying that all millennials and Gen Z kids aren't into name brands when it comes to clothing... but I'll say there's a pretty large number out there who seem to not care as much about name brands as past 20 something-year-olds. Sure, there are still plenty of kids who are still into wearing Air Jordans, just not as much as past generations. Thrift store shopping is bigger than ever now.
The internet has created a culture of awareness and inclusion
It's "almost" OK for someone you barely know to run up and hug you today. In the past, when someone wanted to rebel, it was usually met with people who usually say things like, "that's just the way things are." Most of us were encouraged to just shut up and roll with the punches. Sure you had your rebels, but very few and far in between.
Today, thanks to the internet, there is an audience for every lane possible. If you want to stand up for something, get involved in politics or activism, you'll find plenty of like-minded people online to do it with. Today, you can be a nerd and not have to worry as much about getting beat up by your peers. It's OK more than ever to be an atheist in the world today. In the past, if a kid with downs had a birthday party, not that many people from their school would show up. Today, almost the entire baseball team would likely show up to celebrate that kid's birthday if they got an invitation.
Most young people today are more understanding of things
One Reddit user shared, "Understanding mental illness can be just as much of a thing as physical, and having your friends' backs. I'm what my students call an Elder Millennial (33,) and I find it really dear the way they look out for one another. A kid with an ankle injury is reminded to put his foot up and brought an ice pack, in return for that kid getting to join them for use of the elevator key. A kid with some past PTSD issues is glanced at by a classmate and the discussion paused for a second to check that everyone is okay with the topic before we continue. A kid who has suffered a bereavement and isn't in class, five other kids line up with the notes for me to run off copies and practically get into a spat over who will deliver them. A kid comes out of the closet, slowly, to adults they trust, yet various adults have already been told by the outee's friends that their friend is going through some personal things and if we say anything to upset them, they will be very, very disappointed in us. (This gets to the point where the common reaction is relief and pride that one was trusted enough to know. The last teacher to be told often feels a bit slighted or agonizes over how they come off.) I don't recall high school being kind like this, or kids looking out for one another to anything like the degree they do. Perhaps I just got an amazing batch, but it's been some time and all four grades seem to be this way. Maybe things are getting better."
Some older folks love the slang of today.
Youth colloquialisms are somewhat of a hit with the older generation. Words like THOT (you can Google the meaning), shook, lit, low-key, look like a snack/whole meal, and "snatched my wig" are some favorites.
Many today care about the planet
Sure, we had Captain Planet back in the day, but that was just the precursor of what was to come. Young people today are gardening more than ever now. I mean, we can debate all we want about the climate change topic, but honestly, how often do you see a bee nowadays? Some people who live in humid areas are noticing that there are fewer bugs on their windshield now. Many young people are aware of the situations that plague the environment and are even choosing to adopt pets instead of buying purebred and designer animals.
Most young people want experiences, not stuff
Many young folks prefer getting together to hang out, watch Netflix, and play board games. Most are realizing that "material things" only give you brief happiness. It's the experiences that actually matter. I mean, how many times do you think about and wished you still had your old Atari system versus that vacation you had in the Bahamas?
Many services, music, and games are pretty much free... and much more awesome now
Back in the day, if you wanted ANY game, it cost money. I remember those Mario Bros Nintendo game cartridges going for like $60+ at KB Toys Stores. Today, you can download a version of the game on iOS and Android app stores for FREE and just pay for upgrades. Still, not $60. Back in the day, you usually played a video game for maybe 2 hours TOPS before you wanted to shut it off and go outside. The games today are so amazing that some are able to live in their room for days at a time.
The same goes for many computer software (ie: word processors, etc.) that you used to have to pay for. Today, there are so many free versions online, it's hard to choose which ones to go with. The same goes for music. Back in the day, if you wanted to play a song, you had to either buy it or catch the song on the radio. Sure, you can always record songs on to a cassette tape, but the sound quality wasn't the same as the original. Today, you can stream it 24/7 online. Thanks to all this free and low-cost music, young people are also re-discovering old music! I find it funny that I enjoy a lot of the same songs as my children do. They get pretty mad when I burst their bubble and tell them what the original samples are.
Bullying is a no-no today
There seems to be a new attitude towards bullying and hazing per se. Back in the day, most people turned a blind eye towards it. Maybe we can thank having the internet for this one? School fights are usually recorded and posted on YouTube... followed by the world commenting about what's wrong. Young people get the picture.
One 62-year-old noticed that junior high and high school kids are noticeably more friendly towards each other. "I'm 62, and I'm impressed that boys and girls in junior high and high school actually are friends with each other. I even saw the kids playing a quick pickup game of touch football - boys and girls - at the middle school while waiting for the bus to come over from the elementary school. Never would have happened in my generation."
Some teachers are noticing that kids today are more aware of "the big picture"
One wrote: "I work in education and I’ve noticed huge numbers of young people abandoning ‘traditional’ social media because it interferes with work ethic. These kids have waaaaay more self control and maturity than I did back in the day."
After reading through a few of the comments, you've got to admit that the young people of today ARE doing a pretty good job of working together in order to make this world a better place... and many older people are noticing and starting to agree.
Photo by Mesut Kaya on Unsplash