Teens not lazy, simply misunderstood

It is inevitable that older generations will find a reason to complain about “those darn kids.” However, the degradation of younger generations has peaked recently, especially on social media sites such as Facebook, with Baby Boomers and Generation X shallowly labeling current teens as technology-absorbed and lazy.

One of the main critiques of  teenagers is their constant obsession with and reliance on their phones, laptops and other smart devices. However, as the name implies, smart devices have a multitude of functions. People on their phones are not always playing games or on social media. Often times, students use their phones to check the time, read their emails or study for tests. Even when they are using their phones to text, it should be an individual’s choice to decide how they want to spend their free time. Just because teens choose to utilize the tools available to them doesn’t mean adults have the right to dismiss the use of cell phones as time-wasting.

Another gripe heard from older generations is that current teenagers are lazy. In fact, this does have some truth to it. Almost every student procrastinates to an extreme extent.

The issue, then, lies within the hypocrisy of this accusation. Procrastination has been a widespread problem ever since the days of ancient Greece. In 500 BC, Greek poet Hesiod said “Do not put your work off till tomorrow and the day after.”

To claim that teenagers are lazy because we procrastinate shows that members of older generations have forgotten their own youthful days. Procrastination has simply become a part of the current teenage identity and is openly discussed more than ever.

In addition to procrastination, many older folks bring jobs into the discussion of teenage laziness. In the mid-1970s to early ‘90s, teenage labor rates averaged 55 percent, according to Advisor Perspectives. Today, that percentage has dropped to less than 35 percent. However, the idea that because teenagers are not employed means that they are lazy is flawed.

Instead of finding work, modern teens are focusing on their education. More jobs today require degrees than in the late 20th Century, which means that teeangers are unqualified to join the labor force if they do not first obtain college educations. To that end, they are forced to forgo employment to focus on their studies in high school.

Teenagers who see these complaints constantly on social media and hear them from adults around them should keep their uninformed nature in mind and avoid taking these criticisms to heart.

Although there will always be people ready to dismiss current youth as the worst of society, teenagers can try to always put their best foot forward and do the best they can, because in a few short decades, they will be the ones in charge and complaining about the younger generation.