Poll reveals how older people see the younger generation

There’s no doubt that there are differences between generations.

Poll reveals how older people see the younger generation

There’s no doubt that there are differences between generations. It’s easy to point fingers at generational shortcomings and it’s just as easy to forget that we are the result of our upbringing. 

YourLifeChoices member Farside nails this sentiment.

“If the older people take issue with the younger generations and want to push blame to someone, then it is as simple as looking in the mirror,” wrote Farside.

“Social change is intergenerational and happens slowly. Our generation shaped the world that our children and grandchildren grow up in and we taught them the behaviours and values they exhibit. If we did that badly, then we need to go to history and understand what and who influenced our grandparents and parents and, in turn, how they influenced us.”

Although they put on a brave face, and often cover their fear of the future with tattoos, make-up, flash footwear and fancy clothes, more young people today are struggling with anxiety more than ever before. It has become a defining characteristic of a generation.

“Anxiety is driving teenagers to escape into screens as a way to flee fears. Across most types of anxiety runs a common thread – difficulty coping with feelings of uncertainty, something today’s teenagers have more than their fair share of,”  wrote psychology professor Tracy A Dennis-Tiwary for The New York Times.

Uncertain economic futures, unreliable sources of news and facts and the legacy of being raised by helicopter parents has reduced independence and, perhaps, has spawned a sense of entitlement and self-absorption and contributed to increased incidences of anxiety and depression.

We asked 230,000 older Australians how they see the younger generation, and these notions were clearly at the forefront of their minds.

Most respondents to our Friday Flash Poll: Stereotyping generations were aged between 60 and 74 (baby boomers).

When asked to ‘categorise’ adults aged between 20 and 35, nine per cent said that younger people were too focused on technology, seven per cent said they were ‘entitled’ and just as many thought they were self-absorbed.

Six per cent agreed that younger people travelled more than preceding generations. Did that make them more worldly? Only one per cent seemed to think so. Maybe a focus on technology could be to blame.

“This is a generation who grew up reading blogs instead of books. They read updates about friends on Facebook instead of reading current events in newspapers. They know more about World of Warcraft than they do about World War II,”  wrote Ira S Wolfe in his book Geeks, Geezers, and Googlization.

Being unable to buy a house, a lack of respect for others and being more environmentally conscious (all five per cent) were declared as defining characteristics of younger people. Four per cent said it was a lack of respect for elders and another four per cent said managing money was not a strong suit for younger people.

Rounding out the top 10 was ‘obsessed with celebrity’ (four per cent) and ‘selfish’ (three per cent).  

A strong work ethic was hailed as the most defining characteristic of older generations, followed by being reliable and able to manage money (both eight per cent).

This is the same generation that watched their parents win wars, so it’s little surprise a strong work ethic and reliability make up the top two.

US TV host Joe Scarborough points out this fundamental difference between generations: “Young men in the 1940s liberated Europe from Nazism and the Pacific from the Japanese Empire. Today, too many stay home playing video games.” 

Two of the aforementioned attributes, along with lower property prices and less competition in the market also meant that older people were more able to buy a house (seven per cent). Another seven per cent thought they were more likely to help out others, and six per cent believed they had more respect for others and were more respectful in general (six per cent).

The days of having manners and social graces drilled into them by nuns, schoolteachers and parents have paid off, as older people think they are more well mannered (five per cent) than younger people. Or could the Government’s lack of fiscal focus on education be to blame for the perceived ill-manners of younger people? YourLifeChoices member Booboo seems to think so.

“I don't blame the younger generation, I blame the Government for taking away teachers’ abilities to reprimand and for taking (away) parents’ right to discipline their own children. So, the kids feel they can do and say what they like with no thought or respect for others’ feelings. Not fair for future generations.”

Rounding out the top 10 defining attributes of older generations are ‘travel more’ (four per cent), ‘better access to publicly funded education’ and ‘had more opportunities to succeed in life’ in equal 10th with three per cent of the vote.

Again, Farside makes a comment that pinpoints the problems of defining generational shortcomings.

“No easy answers on this topic, however this problem has been with humanity for a while – Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Galatians VI).”

We’ll leave you with an anecdote supplied by Old Man.

“This little story says a lot,” he wrote.

“A very self-important uni student took it upon himself to explain to a senior citizen sitting next to him why it was impossible for the older generation to understand his generation.

"You grew up in a different world, actually almost a primitive one", he said in a voice loud enough for many nearby to hear. "We, the young people of today, grew up with television, jet planes, space travel, men walking on the moon, our spaceships have visited Mars, we have nuclear energy, electric and hydrogen cars, computers with light-speed processing, and…" he paused to take another swig of beer…

“Which the senior citizen took advantage of to say, ‘You know, son, you're right. We didn't have those things when we were young … so we invented them. Now, you arrogant little fart, what are YOU doing for the next generation?’"

RELATED ARTICLES





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    MICK
    1st Apr 2019
    11:03am
    Loved the quote from OM. Well done.
    The differences between generations were always there so this is nothing new. From my perspective though the current crop and significantly different and this may be the issue.
    A socially cohesive society works best with a healthy work habit, the ability to save and do without to get what you want and of course good manners. Whilst a few millenials have a few of the above list most have very few or none.
    I'm over the current crop with their endless complaining and demonising of their parents and boomers generally who by the way represent the 4th largest bank in the country offering mostly an interest rate of zero percent. It'd be nice if the current crop did more to help themselves rather than endlessly play the blame game blaming anybody who has achieved anything in their lives as the perpetrators of the millenial misery. The one point I will acknowledge is the destruction of real jobs and their replacement by pseudo jobs which has been done to destitute the current generation. This is an abomination I hope Labor will undo when elected.
    Cowboy Jim
    1st Apr 2019
    11:21am
    We were lucky Mick by not having that much spending temptation thrown our way. Second hand furniture when starting out, B&W TV, got one when Whitlam abolished the licence fee. No cell phones, first new car I ever owned was 2 years ago. Mortgage rates starting at 8.4% going all the way to 17.6%. Maybe with house prices coming down the younger generation might be encouraged into the market and cut down their spending on luxuries. Have my doubt as peer pressure might be too much.
    MICK
    1st Apr 2019
    12:55pm
    We lived in much tougher times where money was scarce and banks were responsible. Had to fight for every buck.
    These days millenials have expectations which defy logic and those to blame for their own miserable lack of life skills as they parade around blond planets exclaiming 'look at me'. Sorry...I'm getting a bit carried away. You sort of get the point though.

    1st Apr 2019
    11:12am
    The older generation did not have the problem we are having now .Its the younger generation like Hanson Young that is stuffing this country . Letting in all the middle eastern people in droves that want to change our country to be like what they left. Bringing there crime and curruption with them. We never had this amount of trouble with imergration in the 50s and most supported them selves there was no centerlink as such and they also entergrated into the community
    MICK
    1st Apr 2019
    11:17am
    Its not fashionable to mention race any more even though you see middle eastern criminals fill the news reports every other night. This race has become so sensitive to being reported for its crime wave that the media now does not use use the 'of middle eastern appearance' description any more but you can still tell who they are.
    Not sure about blaming millenials for all the troubles in the world though. They don't own the weapons factories which sell military weapons to third world nations so that they can conduct genocide and wars. We do.
    Cowboy Jim
    1st Apr 2019
    11:29am
    The radio stations I am listening to are all still mentioning the term 'aboriginal or islander appearance', 'mediterranean or middle eastern, as well as 'African or Asian'. ABC radio has stopped telling us what's going on, so I stopped listening to them. I realise that I am probably getting my news from Murdoch sources but they are not always politically correct which suits me fine.
    Tom Tank
    1st Apr 2019
    11:59am
    The comment about middle eastern people is a reflection of political bias which then tends to point to the media that is encouraging the thought that they want to change Australia.
    The facts say otherwise but then those particular media outlets are not strong on facts.
    Example is a years or so ago when the reports of "African" gangs in Melbourne were hitting the headlines the police stated that the groups of troublemakers were actually a mix of African and Pacific islanders.
    Politicians pushing their views stated that Melbourne people were too scared to go out at night which was a right load of rubbish.
    Don't forget Jesus was of "Middle Eastern Appearance" as were all the disciples and Paul as well.
    Tom Tank
    1st Apr 2019
    11:59am
    The comment about middle eastern people is a reflection of political bias which then tends to point to the media that is encouraging the thought that they want to change Australia.
    The facts say otherwise but then those particular media outlets are not strong on facts.
    Example is a years or so ago when the reports of "African" gangs in Melbourne were hitting the headlines the police stated that the groups of troublemakers were actually a mix of African and Pacific islanders.
    Politicians pushing their views stated that Melbourne people were too scared to go out at night which was a right load of rubbish.
    Don't forget Jesus was of "Middle Eastern Appearance" as were all the disciples and Paul as well.
    MICK
    1st Apr 2019
    2:02pm
    We often watch 7 News and 9 News,amongst others like the ABC and SBS, even though we understand that 7 and 9 now refuse to identify the criminals appearing on our screens on an almost nightly basis.
    I disagree with your perception on this Tom. Sure Jesus was of middle eastern appearance but Jesus never murdered people, assaulted people, committed violent home invasions, robbed business or private citizens.
    The main media outlets have been ordered to avoid identifying the criminals. Nothing to do with bias of any sort.
    If you doubt the above then have a look at the crime statistics per head of population in each community. I dare say Australians would be shocked if they knew this as it would identify the criminal ethnic group at the centre. I'm willing to bet my house muslim society would be well clear of any other group.
    Please anybody take me up on my challenge. I'm willing to eat humble pie but having seen the extremely high percentages of crime from this one community years ago before this lot became as bad as they are now, I know I am on the money.
    I can hear the laments already.......'hate', 'Islamophobia', 'victimisation', 'racism'........the well worn tools to shut down unemotional and factual debate of all sorts lest the truth be exposed for all to see with nowhere to hide and nobody to block access to the facts to the public.

    Sorry if I got going. This is a passionate issue for me as is what the levels of crime are doing to our nation. Maybe I'm just getting too old to accept the decay of the Roman Empire.
    The Care Bear.
    2nd Apr 2019
    12:23pm
    Don't forget Jesus was of "Middle Eastern Appearance" as were all the disciples and Paul as well.
    How do you know, oh thats right, fiction written by people that believed the earth was flat.
    Ted Wards
    1st Apr 2019
    11:23am
    Egads Im in the in between generation born in the late 60's. I don't identify with either generation, both seem to complain and winge just as much as each other!
    MD
    1st Apr 2019
    6:37pm
    You may be right TW, but then I may be crazy.
    Re your earlier article - 'crime wave (Victorian) nationality mix', a Weekend Australian article by Mark Schliers (in part) read:-
    "According to redacted versions of those reports, obtained under Freedom of Information legislation, of 81 identified associates, 20 had their visas cancelled on character grounds as of December 31 last year." (It goes on to state) "Among nationalities listed for those 39 people whose visas have either been cancelled or are being considered for cancellation are Sudanese, New Zealander, Samoan and "stateless." "
    (the article goes further to state) - "The Government has said visa cancellation has been an important tool with which to protect the community. There have been 42 people, including those of afghan, New Zealander, Sudanese, Iraqi and Iranian citizenships - as well as at least one "stateless" person - referred to the department but who were no longer "under active cancellation consideration". "

    Not being in the least knowledgeable of other claims re "Muslims" (and their purported crime statistics) must give some folks cause for concern yet others a reason for cheering!
    MD
    1st Apr 2019
    6:39pm
    Apologies TW, the reference article author is in fact Tom Tank.
    BigAl
    1st Apr 2019
    11:51am
    Unfortunately the quality of Australian life is deteriorating. The younger generation have no respect for their parents, teachers, or their elders. They think they know everything. Most have been given everything they want from the day one. The biggest problem is that when they hit the real world and can't live like the Kardashians they crumble. Absolutely no resilience so they resort to drugs etc. Another big problem is that they are so susceptible to brain washing through social media eg Twitter etc they don't have the ability to do their own investigative research or to reason properly. Its a sad fact that they are blinded by fake news and political correctness gone mad driven by the far left lunies. Unfortunately our politicians have no guts to counter these trends. Giving out more welfare and mollycoddling the young just exacerbates the problem.
    Charlie
    1st Apr 2019
    12:16pm
    The characteristics of different generations are fairly well documented and can be googled without too much effort.

    The basic system goes, Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen x, Gen y, Gen Z. Time frames apply. Also there are some other pet names for generations (eg) Millennials
    Miss Piggy
    1st Apr 2019
    2:09pm
    And a possible new addition in the making, Charlie, if the current crop of loonies get their way to leave newborns
    "un-gendered" on their birth certificates. The "IT" generation would seem appropriate (as in "indefinite article").
    Susanb
    1st Apr 2019
    12:58pm
    Wow such a negative view of the younger generation. I am 62 but know alot of 20+s. They are passionate, polite, engaged, care desperately about the environment, political, feminists ( young men and women). And they are not prepared to settle for the shit that our generation did. And the companies run by younger people are socially responsible. They are not just about profit. I say congratulations young people. The world will be a better place with you running it
    Anonymous
    1st Apr 2019
    5:31pm
    Feminists - a large part of society's problems.
    Eddy
    1st Apr 2019
    1:26pm
    My thought: we oldies are the past, the younger generation is the future.
    I well remember the dire predictions of the 1950s and 1960s, usually from the pulpit, about the damaging effects of rock-n-roll and the other 'temptations' for youth, like cigarettes, alcohol and 'free love'. I do not think any of those predication's actually came about. We still survived quite well and so will the younger generation of today. Just think in 50 years time today's younger generation will be saying the same things about our Great Great Grandchildren. The more things change the more they stay the same.

    1st Apr 2019
    2:40pm
    Thank you MICK. I agree with the three criteria you mention but I don't necessarily blame the children. All of these three are taught in the family home and must be seen to be done as well as told to be done. When you joined the workforce you were shown where you were expected to be, what you were expected to provide and what tools were needed but you were not provided with the work ethic, it's something that you brought to the workplace from home.

    I left school during a recession in the early 60's and jobs were very scarce so not all of us had an easy start. We got paid in cash and when the money ran out we went without. No credit cards to supplement the income and worry about paying later taught us how to budget. When we bought something we generally had saved for it and made sure it was what we needed. We have taught our children all about budgeting and how to set aside funds for utilities that must be paid and mortgage(s) that must also be paid. A different time, not necessarily a better time.
    MD
    1st Apr 2019
    5:32pm
    Follow the link, it could be enlightening - if you remove the blinkers!

    https://theconversation.cmail19.com/t/r-l-jildituk-hdujurjhhy-c/
    Brissiegirl
    1st Apr 2019
    6:28pm
    Parents used to have plenty of time to talk to and teach kids their manners, confidence, goal-setting and social skills. Then came the t.v., then came the intrusive computer screens then came mothers who said, "I can have everything, I can have it all and I can have it now" so off they went to work to buy a second car, more and better furniture, fancy clothes, holidays, discover new and more interesting male company, and so it went. Teachers began to look like hippies, then they became political indoctrinators, then the kids stopped learning how history dictates a country's future and oh dear neither kids, parents nor teachers has ever heard of the 3 r's. Yes, times change but change doesn't necessarily mean it's change for the better.
    Poppysmum
    1st Apr 2019
    6:32pm
    I don't get the whinging and whining of the older generations (of which I am certainly one). My kids are all paying off their mortgages, and my grandchildren are all very respectful to their elders and their teachers...sure they have their technology and social media....but don't we, also? They play sport, read books and are generally very inquisitive about the rest of the world, unlike most of the grumpy Baby Boomers and Silent Generation members I know.
    pb tom
    1st Apr 2019
    10:05pm
    It seems to me that many of the youngsters have the attitude that they do not have to work and save. They will have all that they need when their parents pass on so they spend their lives doing nothing. Some even help the oldies on their way !!!
    pb tom
    1st Apr 2019
    10:05pm
    It seems to me that many of the youngsters have the attitude that they do not have to work and save. They will have all that they need when their parents pass on so they spend their lives doing nothing. Some even help the oldies on their way !!!
    Poppysmum
    2nd Apr 2019
    9:19am
    Not about this post...…….YourLife Choices......all comments are being posted twice...….and so are your notification emails...it has to be an issue your end.