Juvenoia will lead to our detriment

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Juvenoia will lead to our detriment

Vince Orozco, Managing Editor

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“Kids these days…”

“Back in my day…”

“This new generation…”

Juvenoia is the rationale behind all these lamentations. It is the fear of the new generation being incapable of performing the same tasks as your own. This fear is perhaps based on an evolutionary instinct. 

You know the things you did and experienced were adequate in seeing you to adulthood; therefore, anything outside of that process is unknown and thus, could possibly lead to failure.

However, despite any possible evolutionary advantage, Juvenoia is an attitude that is damaging and should be actively combatted. 

Juvenoia is nothing new. 

The beliefs held by the older generations were, in their youth, just as frightening and morally corrupt as they believe the current youth to be. 

Just look at the Civil Rights Movement. The generation that was the driving force behind the movement were people born at the end or after World War II, much to the firm condemnation from the older generations. 

Or even earlier during the Roaring Twenties. The relatively healthy economy and growth of the middle class allowed for the flourishing of city culture. The springing up of flappers, jazz music and clubs was seen as morally detestable to the older Traditionalists at the time. 

The point is, with every new generation, the one before it is there to criticize and complain. However, despite the seemingly inevitable outrage of older generations, the phenomenon of Juvenoia should still be combatted.

It is damaging to progress.

The phrase (and possibly dead meme) “OK Boomer” was created to combat the dismissal of issues threatening vast amounts of people, particularly climate change, with the very same dismissive attitude. This is because the groups of people that are most skeptical — older generations — are also the ones that have amassed the greatest political power, both through voting and holding office. 

According to a Pew Research Center survey, 60 percent of Americans aged 18-29 acknowledge climate change is caused by human activity, compared to the 31 percent aged 65 and older.

Any attempts to engage with the older generations about the issue are usually met with derision and dismissal. Family dinners where your uncle believes that climate change is merely a hoax and that the real problem is kids these days being too sensitive is a very commonplace experience. 

In a word, the generations with power are doing the most damage due to their dismissal and willful ignorance.

None of this should be taken to mean that all old people are the harbingers of our planet’s doom. There are plenty of young people who deny climate change and plenty of old people who are ardent supporters of action to combat it. 

Rather, greater cooperation and dialogue needs to be established between generations if we are to solve the problems of our age — OK Boomer?