Stereotyping generations

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.” ~ Socrates (469–399 BC)

Ever since we could talk (and probably before), older generations have seemingly had it in for younger generations. For better or for worse, both generations have their stereotypes. Older people often view younger people as rude, ignorant, selfish and lacking social graces, while just as often younger people tar their elders with the same brush.

You probably remember your parents telling you how life was tougher, how easy you have it now and even how much it cost to buy dinner and a movie ‘back in their day’. There’s no denying that older generations often slated younger generations and vice versa.

The media may take part of the blame for how each generation sees the other. The media and, to a degree, the arts, prey on intergenerational stereotypes.

But are they stereotypes for a reason?

Today’s Flash Poll was inspired by YourLifeChoices member Dena, who recently contacted us with some content suggestions. Among her ideas for interesting articles, was a rant – for want of a better word – about a 22-year-old second-year university student who, on Facebook, tried to have a go at Dena’s thoughts on man-made climate change.

Dena was taken aback, as much at the attack as at the inadequate grammar displayed by the student. So, Dena took matters into her own hands and fired back.

NB: Dena’s comments are in brackets spelling mistakes have been left in

Fortunately for the likes of (for those who think similarly to) John X and I (should be ‘me’ you cannot say ‘for I’), the population of those living lives too privelaged (The word is privileged) to care or perhaps those who simply find it easier to deny (reject) such ideas in order to help them sleep at night, are (is) on the decline whilst the population of the scientific, evidence based argurment community (this expression means absolutely zilch and is silly) is on the rise (what are you talking about here????). The simple shift of the proportion of this perspective (you cannot have a proportion of a perspective) about the debate will contiune to benefit the likes of the generation who were (which was) always percieved (i before e EXCEPT after c) by the older generation as those who would “grow up and become scientists and solve all the problems of the mondern world.” (This is garbage, dear lad as the scientists who preceded this modern generation did more for science and medicine than any of you kids have dreamed – witness vaccinations apart from anything else you now enjoy) This same generation who is out there now, (This current generation is better) taking strikes from school (taking school days off to protest is better English) and making speaches – (speeches is the correct spelling and they simply held up badly spelled placards) to the United Nations Committee (mostly Islamic nations please note), in a simple effort to have their voices heard as they try to break impact (this is not English – you probably mean “it impacts”) upon an issue which will certainly have more affect (effect is the word) on their own future than that of you or I (you probably mean ‘than on yours or mine’) . As this continues, the privelaged (privileged), (denying) population (do you mean a population in denial?) will become so small (perhaps similar to today’s flat earth believers) that their non-science (unscientifically) based arguments will drift into the realm of mythology leaving the modern world simply amused by their creativity (and their verbosity about things which they really do not understand).


Was Dena right in firing back? We think she had a valid argument. Younger people may or may not be better educated, but this example surely lets down the entire generation.

Many, if not most, older people have great relationships with younger people. Just as often, younger people have great respect for older people. And yet there remains a gap that may never be closed. Is this due to stereotypes? Or is it just a fact of life – that the young and old are different and never the twain shall meet? Do we forget that we were young once? Do the young not realise that one day they’ll be old (if they’re lucky)?

We thought we’d ask you about the stereotypes placed on older and younger generations and ask you for your views on the intergenerational gap.


Is your generation better than younger generations? Why? Do you think younger people have it easier than you did? Share your opinion in the comments below.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.