3 things young people are sick of hearing
The media’s scapegoating of young people is getting out of hand.
But there’s three things we’re especially fed up with hearing:
1. We’re selfish and entitled
It’s barked at us by bitter relatives at tense family dinners across the country. For advocating for fairer refugee policy, strong action on climate change, or housing affordability. Oh, the irony!
If it’s selfish to demand more than the status quo, go ahead and add it to our record.
That’s the thing: we’re entitled be angry about decisions made on our behalf. Decisions which threaten our environmental future, harm innocent people and compromise our chances at a good life.
Many of these decisions will disproportionately affect young people.
2. Our relationship with technology is closing us off from the world
We’re digital natives: the first generation to grow up amongst digital technology. But despite what Great Uncle Dave reckons, there’s more to the internet than selfies and narcissism.
The web has empowered young people on the margins to reach others and document their struggles. Now, I can click into YouTube and listen to African American vloggers explain Black Lives Matter, or read a young Indigenous person’s take on Clinton’s Walk.
That wasn’t always possible, and it’s part of why so many of us are more open-minded than ever before.
3. We don’t have the skills, attitude or experience to be leaders
The work of youth-led organisations like Oaktree, AYCC, Minus18, and Reach prove that we can thrive in leadership positions, and that we bring much more to the table than we’re being offered.
The status quo - folding leaflets and making photocopies for years upon years in unpaid “internships” - isn’t good enough.
Workplaces, political offices, the media and public need to wake up and recognise our worth.
Is that all?
Nope! We’re also lazy, politically apathetic and hopelessly narcissistic, apparently.
We could go on and on. More than 2000 years Plato said:
“What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?"
Scapegoating young people is nothing new. Maybe it's time we grew out of it?