Wednesday, April 02, 2008

What's Wrong with Young People?

By now everyone has heard that teenagers and young adults do not know much about history, cannot locate Ohio on a map, and spend way too much time texting when they should be doing more important things--like listening to their elders lecture them about their many shortcomings.

Who can blame them for not listening? For some reason, it is always the young--not the old--who are being told of their failings. The old have been complaining about the young since time immemorial. But turnabout is fair play, so let's explore for a moment whether older Americans are as wise and industrious as they pretend to be. Here are three stories about old folks that could be in the news:

Glued to the Tube: Why Can't the Elderly Find Something Better to Do?
Results from a national survey reveal that older Americans have a serious addiction to television. The latest American Time Use Survey shows that people aged 65 or older spend one-fourth of their waking hours watching television as their primary activity, far more than any other age group. People aged 65 to 74 spend 3.83 hours a day watching TV. For those aged 75 or older, the figure is an even larger 4.18 hours--twice as much time as young adults spend watching TV. For expert advice on what is behind this potentially harmful addiction to television, we turn to--

Technophobes: Irrational Fear Grips Older Americans as Times Change
Health experts have detected a new syndrome infecting Americans aged 55 and older. The syndrome manifests itself as a fear of pushing buttons and prevents millions from adopting modern conveniences such as cell phones, computers, and the Internet. With nearly every young adult online and using a cell phone, the young are increasingly frustrated and alarmed at the unwillingness of the older generations to communicate with them. "What's up?" ask young people. Only 37 percent of people aged 65 or older are online, according to Pew Internet & American Life Project. Cell phone ownership is also abysmally low in the age group. Psychologists have so far been unable to explain--

Whoa! Say Older Adults--Why They Impede Scientific Progress
A new study reveals that older Americans are wary of science. According to results of the 2006 General Social Survey, most people aged 60 or older agree with the statement, "Science makes our way of life change too fast." A much smaller 40 percent of young adults agree. What is behind the attitude gap? Some say education, since young adults are much better educated than older Americans. Most young adults have been to college, while few older Americans have any college experience. Yet, because of their high voting rate, older generations determine science funding in the United States. The only way to resolve this conflict--

These stories are just as newsworthy as the ones detailing the failures of young adults, but you won't see them in the news anytime soon. Why? Because older generations, not young adults, decide what makes the news.

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