Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Kids Are Alright

I just read "A Generation of Slackers? Not So Much" by Catherine Rampell in the NYTimes and it got me bothered.

Of course the next generation always looks lazy, for a few good reasons:

1- Each generation has better technology than the last. Is the World War II generation more lazy than the hunter-gatherers because their technology afforded them free time to relax in front of the radio? I'd imagine a hunter-gatherer would kick his or her feet up to listen to Edward R. Murrow if he or she had the time.

2- Each generation reprioritizes its own values. While it may look horrifying that kids these days are engrossed in their online personas, would today's elders rather our youth prioritize the racial superiority and classism of the 1800's? The elders will always be horrified that the youth see their different world differently. Should the youth really look at smartphones the same way that their elders looked at rotary phones?

3- Humans nature abides. We have the luxuries of today because previous generations wanted them. Today's youth was provided with their smartphones and social networks by the industry of their parents. How can their parents feel justified in denigrating the youth's propensity to dwell in these advances. I don't think it's reaching to say that, given the chance, any human generation would relish the consuming social tools of today.

I really wonder how the current generation of medical students is going to apply these tools to healthcare if they come of age in a system that demands "hard work."

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