Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Do We Have More Advantages than our Parents Did?

by Loren Dean


In a world where technology is rapidly advancing at an incredible rate, it is easy to say that our generation is extremely advantaged. However, this is proved not to be the case.

We are in Generation Z, born between 1995-2009, and a generation that has never experienced the pre-internet world. In my opinion I think this is very bad. We see it all the time, children glued to their phone screens-this overexposure to technology at a young age has had a negative effect on our childhood-causing teenagers in this generation to grow up too quickly and therefore loose parts of their childhood with the virtual world consuming their everyday lives. Most of us are spending more than 50% of our time on screens thus not going outside leading to more child obesity.

Of course, along with modern day conveniences and luxuries that technology and the internet bring, come more issues to be dealt with, which have never been experienced before by older generations. Cyber bullying has become a great concern among today's younger generations. This form of harassment is a real threat to children today, and it makes becoming a victim of such harassment so much easier than it did for face to face bullying of years gone by. In fact, bullying which takes place over the Internet can become such a threat to the intended victim, it is a leading cause for suicide among today's British children and teens.

In addition to this, we were born into a crisis period in world history- with terrorism and the awful state of national economies worldwide always seeming to be headlining the news. As the up and coming generation, we are expected to provide the answers for the future. With pressure such as this, it is little wonder that 1 in 4 of us will experience depressive like symptoms during this year. Excess pressure such as exam stresses or simply just the phrasing that older generations use like: well in my day this or tell me that are all contributing factors to why the younger generation is disadvantaged.

Furthermore, with all the information anyone can ever need just a click away, this in turn hinders our curiosity and increases our laziness and stop us trying to find out answers for ourselves by using the library and books thus leading to shorter attention spans. With schools spoon-feeding students the answers, rigorous testing since nursery has just become a pointless chore meaning pupils expect immediate feedback which is unrealistic for the working world.

Rising wages and low house prices helped the baby boom generation to prosper. Today's young face high unemployment, expensive education, and a lifetime of renting. Have they never had it so bad?
Let's take a typical 24-year-old every person. This person lives in Nottingham. There's a one-bedroom flat they want but it costs £120,000. You need a salary of more than £25,000 to get a mortgage for that. But this every person has no salary. They're one of the 18.5% of people aged 18-24 in the UK who are out of work. Our 24-year-old has a degree and a £25,000 debt to pay off from university. So our every person now has to move back in with their parents, part of the "boomerang adultescents". A job is the most pressing requirement but many of those are now going to older workers. The over-50s accounted for 93% of the job increases over the last decade, according to analysis by investment bank Citi. And there's the growing number who put off retiring. Working people of pension age have nearly doubled over the last two decades, reaching 1.4 million in 2011, according to the Office for National Statistics.

In 1957 Harold Macmillan declared: "Most of our people have never had it so good." Today no politician would utter those words. Yet there's a growing belief that the generation of baby boomers born in the two decades before 1965 were lucky to live when they did. Houses were easier to come by when young and rocketed in value. Pensions were generous. Unemployment was mostly low. Now, aged between 50 and 70, they have had it pretty good. The question for today's young might be, have they ever had it so bad?

Growing up in Great Britain today is quite different from earlier generations of the 60s, 70s and even the 80s. For one thing, British children of the 60s through the 80s were less diverse in cultural opportunities. British fashion was quite different many generations ago as well. A young person in Britain today also has quite a vast difference in musical tastes from that of which his parents and grandparents listened to.
British motorways were different than those of today. Young people in Britain back in the 60s for example were able to afford cars for transportation and leisure time activities. For the average young person in Britain today however, taking public transportation has become a way of life, due to the heavy population and bustling activities of city life. Today's cities of Great Britain means young generations are being accustomed to overcrowding due to the ever growing population.

Another disadvantage facing kids today in Britain is the increasing level of crimes, especially in populated cites such a London, England. Twenty or thirty years ago crime was not as prevalent as it is now. Newer generations of gangs have emerged in recent times, thus making some areas an unsafe environment for young people. And in addition to this, city streets are not as clean as it was a few decades ago. Littering has become a matter of major concern in many areas, from residential neighbourhoods to the large cities.

In conclusion, as a generation that shoulders the hopes of generations gone by, we are in a precarious position. In the world we live in today, our generation does not seem to have much hope.


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