Dear Readers: What bugs you about your generation? I asked the panel this simple question and their responses are, I hope, unsettling. As the first children to come of age in the Digital Age, Millennials have unique challenges, often unrecognized or misinterpreted by parents and elders. They are the most stratified generation ever (meaning, there was/is less mixing with older generations). I hope today’s column stimulates increased cross-generational interaction and dedicated protection of childhood from pornography and other commercial media. Here’s what’s bugging them, in their own words. More next week. — Lauren
Chuck, 19, Sylvania, Ohio: My generation inherited war, widespread health issues, economic crisis and many other problems, yet so many of us stay positive and useful! That said, we struggle with self-image and distorted societal roles, no thanks to the media’s insidious portrayal of what “normal” is. For example, a movie poster I used to pass each day depicted four people who become a pretend family: “The Drug Dealer,” “The Stripper,” “The Runaway,” and most offensive, “The Virgin.” All were glamorized, except “The Virgin,” who was depicted by a pale, acne-covered boy wiping his nose. This stereotype is a blatant tear on those who aren’t sexually active at an early age. It also implies that it’s cool to have sex as soon as you can coerce someone into joining you. I love my generation and I believe we can achieve incredible things, but it scares me to see the expectations we are adopting.
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