Friday, January 28, 2005

Our Troubled Youth (and Youth Wannabes)

I don't want to depress you, but here are some thought-provoking items
about "young people today".

1. "Children who can't cook ... can't sew ... can't save"
"A new generation of children is growing up as 'life incompetents', unable
 to sew, care for their clothes, or even realise that potatoes are boiled
 before being mashed... A combination of a cosseted lifestyle and being
 raised by parents who are barely more competent than the children is to

2. "Under 30s 'shun saving'"
"The majority of young people fail to save regularly and spend their money
 on alcohol, fast food and mobile phones instead"

3. "Generation Y keys in boomer-sized debt"
"Telephone bills are a big cause of financial difficulty for more than a
 third of young consumers seeking help from financial counsellors, with
 mobile phone debts of thousands of dollars disproportionately hitting 18
 to 24 year-olds"

4. "Teen generation will be 'world's sickest adults'"
"The present generation of children and teenagers will turn into the most
 obese and infertile adults in the history of mankind, doctors warned

5. "The children who won't grow up"
"Peter Pan-demonium, kidults, boomerang kids.... A sociologist examines
 the phenomenon of lost boys and girls hanging out on the edge of adulthood"

6. "More than half men 'still children' at 30"
"Two surveys in Britain and America have both concluded that today's
 children are more likely to reach 'proper' adulthood some times in their
 thirties rather than at 18"

7. "Grown up at 21? No way"
"A University of Chicago study indicates most Americans think it takes
 several more years for one to become an official grown-up"

The malaise may not be restricted to "young people".  It seems everyone
nowadays want to be "forever young".  The following article compares the
way adults dress now to how their counterparts dressed in the middle of
last century.

"The Perpetual Adolescent (And the triumph of the youth culture)"
"The ideal almost everywhere is to seem young for as long as possible.
 The health clubs and endemic workout clothes, the enormous increase in
 cosmetic surgery (for women and men), the special youth-oriented television
 programming and moviemaking, all these are merely the more obvious signs of
 the triumph of youth culture"