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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Too Busy to be Decadent

Via BrothersJudd we learn that kids these days take fewer risks than previous generations:
The troubles with kids these days ... are not as common as they used to be. U.S. teens are having a lot less sex, they are drinking and using drugs less often, and they aren't smoking as much, according a government survey of risky youth behaviors. 
"I think you can call this the cautious generation," said Bill Albert, spokesman for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
The cautious generation? Yeah, right. The article puts forward what I think is a more likely hypothesis towards the bottom:
One possibility, Albert said: "It may be that parking at Lookout Point has given way to texting from your mom's living room couch," he said. 
In the new survey, about 42 percent said they played video or computer games or used a computer for something that was not school work for more than three hours per day on an average school day.
Boredom has always been a major factor behind smoking, drinking, sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll. At least that was true for my generation. And boredom has been mostly obliterated by the Internet, social media, and the plethora of online entertainment. Kids simply don't have time and motivation for the illegal and immoral activities of old.

A hilarious take on this is presented in Millennials Have Discovered 'Going Out' Sucks (WARNING: LOTS OF OBSCENITIES). Here's an excerpt:
But really, what this completely real trend the Post has identified shows is that millennials have cracked the code. For most of human history, young people have spent a good chunk of their lives going "out," which mainly meant getting f-----d up on mead or some mildly poisonous herb, then having sex with a stranger, waking up in a field, or both. Youths are always derided for this by the older generations, who claim that in their day the herbs were less poisonous and the outdoor coitus less brazen. [...] 
But millennials—if you believe the Post, and why wouldn't you?—are skipping past all that ...
 The article concludes with:
You know what's great? Sitting around and watching TV. Have you tried it? You get to wear comfortable clothes, summon whatever food you want via phone and eat it with your hands, go to bed when you choose—for most of the humans who have ever lived, this generation's typical night in represents an impossible pinnacle of luxury. People used to worry about stuff like drought, famine, and a new band of men with swords riding into town. Don't underestimate the simple luxuries of a glass of wine, a roof overhead, and a screen that can show you anything you can imagine.
Too True That. Too True.

Of course, if nobody goes out and drinks excessive mead and has sex, might this be not only the cautious generation but also the last generation?


Bret said...

And this is what happens when younger folk stay in instead of going out.

The article says it's the great recession, but I think it's too much social media (or maybe some of both).

Peter said...

Cue the predictable article in reply from the teacher insisting they are the smartest generation ever and are deeply concerned about human rights and the environment.

I have observed a big difference between those of my children who came of age with smartphones, streaming and texting and those who didn't. I am convinced these abominations are changing our culture profoundly in ways we have hardly begun to understand. Having reached the age where my favourite recreational past time is complaining about young people, I have a hard time seeing many upsides beyond their being able to appeal to their parents instantly from anywhere if they need or want anything. Why can they be satisfied wasting their time blogging like we were?

But, Bret, there is something quaint about your concerns about the birthrate. Time was parents lived in fear of their children's sexual activities and fretted they might get pregnant. The message was wait, wait, wait. Now here we are looking at the lazy couch potatoes and thinking "Shouldn't you be out getting it on with somebody? Aren't you concerned about the birthrate? Get your butt it gear and go out there and multiply!"

Peter said...

Sorry, why CAN'T they...

Bret said...

Peter wrote: "Time was parents lived in fear of their children's sexual activities and fretted they might get pregnant."

That was never, ever me. I've never been afraid of my daughters having sex and I look forward to them getting pregnant one day and if that day turns out to be soon, it's not an optimal time, but we'll deal and I'll be happy.

And the mother-in-law harping on the daughter-in-law to hurry up and create grandchildren is just as prevalent a story as your fear of sex theme.