The Go-Nowhere Generation

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2009
The Go-Nowhere Generation
15
Thu, 03-29-2012 - 10:29pm

This is an opinion piece from the NY Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/opinion/sunday/the-go-nowhere-generation.html?_r=1

I am really annoyed with this article. It makes my generation seem like a lazy, apathetic group of loosers. Their statistics mean very little to me too. Who cares if we chose to use public transit and do not choose to pursue

JenAaron.jpg picture by jen2075


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Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Fri, 03-30-2012 - 12:42am

What's so great about going somewhere? To get to where I am in my job, I had to relocate three times, and I got to see parts of the country that I'd never want to see otherwise. Now I live somewhere I hate. I am far away from people who matter to me. My career is a shackle that keeps me from love.

I just got off the phone with a friend from grad school. She's regarded as an up-and-coming scholar, and she's stuck somewhere even worse. It's killing us.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2007
Fri, 03-30-2012 - 5:57am
Sometimes I wonder how these opinion pieces end up in newspapers. It really isn't news - it's one person's odd interpretation of random statistics.

In a very subtle way, the author touches upon the fact that hard economic times lead people to take less risks. But the article puts the cart before the horse: the reason younger people aren't moving away from their home towns is because we're in hard economic times. If you don't have a lot of money, it doesn't make sense to move. Relocating costs money. People without money rely more heavily on other friends and family (i.e. they may not be able to afford a mechanic, but they have a friend who can fix their car).

Quite frankly, I agree with you Jen. This article was a ridicuous over-simplification of a situation.

Kate


empty purse

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Fri, 03-30-2012 - 8:21am

I think there is SOME truth to the article but I disagree with the blanket statement.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Fri, 03-30-2012 - 1:37pm

Hi Jen,

You don't like the article because it doesn't apply to you. Others in your group wouldn't like the article because it does apply to them. There will always be exceptions to the rule like yourself but in this case I have to agree more often than not with the opinion here in the article.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2001
Fri, 03-30-2012 - 3:18pm

I can see both sides of this discussion.

On the one hand, my own 24 year old dd, saved up, packed up and moved across the country to a city where she knew no one, and didn't have a job lined up.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Fri, 03-30-2012 - 3:18pm

It is, as you noted, an opinion piece from the NY Times Sunday Review.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 03-30-2012 - 6:53pm

Just think of it as one of those writing assignments in Argument and Research.

Serenity
Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Sat, 03-31-2012 - 9:55am

Hi Jen,

Economics. Family.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Sun, 04-01-2012 - 9:40am

For the record, I really enjoyed everyone's thoughtful replies to this post, especially mahopac, very good historical insight!

My kids longed for their driver's license, and they went away to school, but they both want to stay in Michigan.

#Marie
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2007
Sun, 04-01-2012 - 7:17pm
I've enjoyed everyone's responses as well. I especially loved mahopac's post and the Mark Twain quote "There are three kinds of lies : lies, damned lies and statistics." It reminds me of something I read in a report at work that made me laugh: "Politicians use statistics like drunks use a lamppost : for support, rather than illumination". After all, if you torture the numbers, they'll admit to anything.

It is a time-honoured tradition for people to complain about the younger generation. It's the same story I heard in the 70's as a teenager: that we're lazy, lack social skills, etc. The only difference is that nobody is saying the phrase "young whippersnappers" yet! I remember our elderly neighbour yelling it from the front porch!

One factor on why older generations have this view is "convenient memory". We glorify ourselves, remembering the times we worked hard on our homework and maybe not remembering that we also may have spent 3 hours infront of the tv. It's not a conscoius exaggeration, the truth is many people white-wash their memories. Add onto convenient memory is that we want our kids to be better than us, so we only tell them about the hard work so that they'll learn the important lesson of hard work -- eventually forgetting that we, too, spent entire Saturday afternoons in our friend's basements spinning vinyl.

The other issue is that , as we get older, our values and morals solidify because we've set up our lives, learned from life and don't need to change. Every single generation (especially the last decade) encounters a different society. So maybe the new generation isn't working as physically hard as the last generation (so is viewed as lazy) but they are working mentally much harder. They are in the process of evaluating what is necessary, of understanding life, and to expect them to have the same viewpoints and life skills as the older generation is simply not fair.

As for kids moving back home, has everyone forgotten that this is a new concept to recent generations and primarily a product of our Western culture? This reverting to delaying the flight from the nest could be an individual or even societal realization that past generations sacrificed the strength of maintaining the family together as an economic unit. In other culture, it is common to remain as a continuation of that families economic unit or until there is a stability in creating a new one (usually marriage). Gone are the days where you went from your parents house to your sorority house to your marital house, in an easy, economically stable progression. Add into the mix that families can no longer survive on one income. And then add into the mix that young adults today are the first generation raised in the new dual-income society.

All I'm saying is that there are circumstances that should be considered before immediately assuming that the next generation is lazy or lacking moral fibre or young whippersnappers.

Kate


empty purse

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