I’m going to sound like an old duck when I ask this, but is it me, or are young kids today more inclined to be arseholes?
We all saw it. That tape. (And here I go sounding old again. Do they even call them tapes anymore?)
If you didn’t click on the link, let me refresh your memory because surely you saw it. The whole country did. We all saw it and judging by the reaction on Social Media, we were all disgusted. I know I was – I literally felt sick to my stomach.
Two young girls (later identified as 17 and 21 year olds) violently assaulted a 77 year old Aboriginal man.
You got that right, folks.
They kicked him. They abused him.
As I am writing this I am still in disbelief. Really I am.
Many questions were raised after this footage was released. Would you have intervened? Do we live in a society only concerned with self-preservation?
But I want to ask: Where’s the respect?
I first noticed a shift in the behaviour of this crop of young people when I was pregnant with my first child. I remember distinctly boarding a plane, alone, and 7 months pregnant. I had an on-board bag that I was struggling to manoeuvre through the aisle, you know, because belly, and when I arrived at my seat, I looked around for any kind faces who could help me with lifting it into the compartment. I spotted 2 young
punks men, who must have been in their late teens, just look at me try to raise the bag. My pride forced me to persevere until an older gentleman intervened and asked if I needed help.
And that was the first negative experience I had with Generation Me. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the last.
When I gave birth it became even more obvious. My pram was clearly a nuisance for teenagers trying to strut their stuff through the shopping centre. Getting around it was annoying when they were in a rush. And don’t even talk about letting the lady with the baby go first, we have places to be girlfriend.
And forget being let in traffic by a P plater.
I was talking to my Dad this morning about the bus incident and he agreed the attitude of young people has changed drastically in recent times – of course, even more noticeably from when he was a boy. In his late fifties now, he vividly recalls being smacked over the head as a child by his father for not standing up immediately when an elderly lady boarded the bus.
Sure, the smacking over the head bit is a bit crappy – but I think that was a generational thing. Common, even. But the respect thing is still well on point.
Nowadays I see so many parents letting their kids run wild with zero to none discipline involved. One lady I used to have playdates with laughed when her toddler smacked, pushed and shoved other kids and would say, ‘I’d rather have a bully than a kid that’s bullied.”
You can guess how that friendship ended up.
And then there’s the social media part of it all. Has the age of selfies given kids of today the wrong type of confidence? Does the pressure to wear make up or look good at a preposterous age make childhood shorter than it should be?
I didn’t wear make up until 16 years old. Neither did my friends.
I wasn’t a perfect teenager – far from it, in fact – but I know for sure I respected my elders. I respected Mum’s with small babies, I always stood for someone in need on the bus. And so did my friends. We were still young arseholes, but mostly to each other and naturally, to our parents.
It just seems as though – for whatever reason – that as time has gone on, a little bit of respect for the world has stayed behind.
Its fitting at this point to offer a disclaimer and say that of course I know not all kids of today are inclined to be arseholes. I have met some beautiful, well-mannered young people and I am sorry for generalising their generation in this post.
What do you think? Is the youth of today different from when you were growing up?