Cultural observer Richard Rushfield has some thoughts on how the bountiful level of expression in The Current Conversation has failed to result in a multiplicity of critical perspective, and he blames it on the kids: [T]oday’s abundance of information and voices doesn’t just end up cutting off the breadth of that conversation, but its depth as well. That is to say, not only are fewer opinions heard, but the ones that are are dumber than ever before. The problem goes back to another of my running complaints about Generation Yay: their a-historicism and the roots thereof… It has previously been proven that no [...]
"The iPad generation will learn fewer words, experts fear, as using text messages, emails and computers to learn could be stunting children’s vocabulary."
"To adults, services like Facebook that may seem “private” because you can use privacy tools, but they don’t feel that way to youth who feel like their privacy is invaded on a daily basis. (This, btw, is part of why teens feel like Twitter is more intimate than Facebook. And why you see data like Pew’s that show that teens on Facebook have, on average 300 friends while, on Twitter, they have 79 friends.) Most teens aren’t worried about strangers; their worried about getting into trouble."
"It's a trend—thanks to peer pressure, and the Internet."
"Cigarette use among U.S. teenagers fell to historic lows and a four-year rise in marijuana use appears to have leveled off, according to a national study released Wednesday."
In case you missed it, this is pretty great: "The short video captures young Gabriel deep in thought as he takes in some sage sisterly advice on the perils of spitting, fighting and disobeying one's parents. Defying her own youth, Gabriel's sister delivers a minute-long park bench lecture, telling him in no uncertain terms that he should 'toughen up a bit' before walking off and leaving the words 'think about it, Gabriel' ringing in her brother's ears."
"According to a new survey, Harvard freshmen were more likely to have cheated on a problem set or homework assignment in high school than to have had sex."
"A group of about 100 high school students traveling from New York to Atlanta were thrown off an AirTran flight, along with their chaperones, after the pilot and crew lost patience with some kids who wouldn't sit down and put away their cellphones."
Teenagers are idiots. They listen to 40-year-old music like Led Zeppelin or the New York Dolls, they dress like those old dudes from The Strokes, and they will never have jobs because of robots. But in one respect, today's teenager is much like the previous century's teenagers: They do not like socializing around their dumb parents and weird uncles and Tea Party Jesus-freak aunts. Because all of those creepy segments of adult society spend all their time on Facebook, the kids have finally figured out that Facebook is not at all cool.
Facebook management admits in new corporate filings that they're losing the teen market to competitors that don't [...]
"The traumatic experience of surviving superstorm Sandy has provided some high-school seniors inspiration for their college-application essays, a task that in the best of times is already stressful."
Meticulously Documenting Their Binge Drinking And Incessantly Checking Facebook Has Apparently Made College Students Smarter
Early during my freshman year of college, in 1989, I was sitting in the student center when a reporter from the school paper walked up and asked me whether I would be interested in talking to her for an article she was working on about the social life on campus. I made the mistake of agreeing, on record. Her story was about the dangers of underage drinking, and what might be done about the problem. One of my own roommates had spent a recent night in the hospital, having his stomach pumped to avoid alcohol poisoning. But I used the opportunity to mount an attack on the school's policy [...]
"'Is it bad that idk who Rodney King is,' Twitter user Jiggy wrote, 'cause I don't.'" —Did you ever think you would live to see an era where a sentence like this could exist, and could, actually, be used as an example of the differing levels of cultural and historical knowledge that point to the generation gap so frequently exposed on a social networking site? I mean, you probably didn't, right? But it says SOMETHING about the way we etc. now.
"Some kids no longer dream about getting a new car. Instead, they dream about getting the latest smartphone." Kids! Who understands them?
"When you are a young person just out of college, you don’t necessarily want to just read the New York Times or Huffington Post." —Young persons, is this true?
"I plan to spend time in high school and college classrooms in the next few weeks to explore whether millennials can reverse a generation-long decline in U.S. politics. Will they rejuvenate comity, compromise and a viable political center? Will they pull together, or will they become Generation X-treme? Most important: Will the best and brightest of the largest generation even bother with politics or government?" —Hey millennials, I know you're busy trying to find a job and a way to move out of Mom and Dad's, but we also need you to save the democracy that has failed you so badly. And you'd better do it, or else [...]
"Across North Carolina and in dozens of other states, teachers are committing what once would have been heresy: They are writing off cursive script." —What are they going to cancel next, semaphore class? Introduction to phrenology? This is an OUTRAGE. How will the youth be able to properly express the sentiment "SEXT U L8R LOL" to one another if not in cursive?
"For many, the sound of Christmas is the dulcet tones of choirboy voices singing Once in Royal David’s City or The Holly And The Ivy. But it seems the ‘sweet singing in the choir’ may soon be silenced – by increased levels of testosterone in young boys."
"We were just doing global research with field strategists in understanding the role of beer in Saturday night around the world vs. other drinks. In studying beer, we started to discover that young adults cherish their smartphones and iPhones so much that they don't want to lose them if they have an epic night out. Now they take what they call their 'drunk phone,' a cheap low-end phone, so now they are carrying two phones because they don't want to lose their smartphone."