Are Young People “Entitled”?

People who complain about how “young people are so entitled these days” piss me off.

Firstly – it makes whoever’s complaining seem really old.

Secondly – these remarks are usually based on their experience of working with 1-2 people under 25 who have annoyed them… Hardly a decent sample on which to start blaming a whole generation. (If your complaining that young people “don’t work as hard these days”, then review your recruitment policies, and consider whether your not just jealous that the intern you share an office with has a life and relationship worth going home for.)

Guys – times are tough for young people nowadays.

I’m not disputing that we live in the best time to be alive but…

University fees are higher than they’ve ever been before. Most people born prior to 1982 got to go to university for free and were given a government grant to live on. Most never had to worry about student loans or being in debt before they started earning and bought property debt free. Suicide rates in universities are climbing, and the quality of professors and the number of research opportunities are likely to fall as a result of Brexit.

House prices are sky high, (especially in London). Many young people, who are already struggling with university debt, can’t even dream about owning a house – unlike most of the older generation who managed to get on the property ladder before house prices became insane, (and still relish complaining about how hard life is for them). I don’t even know any Gen Yers who have managed to buy property without a substantial amount of help from wealthy parents.

Thanks to the pensioners who voted for Brexit, (and decided to screw over the younger generation), we all face having to work in a smaller market with less job opportunities, and potentially none of the safeguards of EU legislation. The future is uncertain, another recession is probably on its way, and interest rates are non-existent, making it difficult to save for that impossibly high home deposit.

Growing welfare, and pension bills mean higher taxes. The NHS is falling apart thanks to a government intent on destroying it, and more and more people require private health cover as a result. The gig economy harbours less job security, and gone are the days of final salary pension schemes. On top of that the average pay for younger people is decreasing.

The pound’s dreadful exchange rate has made it far more expensive to travel anywhere other than the UK, (bye bye travelling gap years). It also means that foreigners are far more likely to start buying UK property and companies, making it even harder for any young people to get on the housing ladder.

AI and technology, despite all of the opportunities they present, means an era of less jobs in the future. Machines are likely to replace many employees, making skills that distinguish humans from computers, (creativity, empathy, communication), far more important than ever before. That’s in addition to a woefully inadequate education system which has hardly changed in 30 years. It’s not a great system for preparing kids for today’s job market.

Gen Zs have grown up in the age of the iPhone, YouTube, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. Cyber bullying is rife and relationships are based on the superficial “my life is great” images cultivated on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. (A friend of mine’s teenage son recently received a topless picture from a fellow female pupil. His friend received the same photo and forwarded it to a few mates. The14 year old friend didn’t appreciate the ramifications of what he was doing and is now a registered sex offender.  (In my day if I had wanted to send a topless photo of myself, I’d have to get hold of a camera with a timer, set it up on some sort of tripod device, strip off, get dressed, find some coins, head down to Boots with a roll of film to ask for the naked pictures to be developed, repeat until I got some half decent photos which were not blurry and had decent lighting, buy an envelope and some stamps, find the guy’s postal address, and post them via Royal Mail… It would have taken days! A lot more work than taking a naked selfie…)).

There is more information to consume than ever before and everything is available instantly. It’s no wonder that millennials’ are branded “impatient with short attention spans“. Even middle age adults who have discovered the delights of FarmVille and Candy Crush can’t help themselves being constantly distracted, and they haven’t even grown up with that kind of technology… (At least kids nowadays tend to appreciate the risks of publishing their contact details and date of birth…)

People complain about young people being “entitled” i.e. “believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment”.

In this day and age, I don’t think you’ll get anywhere if you didn’t believe that you deserved at least some privilege or special treatment, (and doesn’t that apply to all of us at some point too?).

Young people I know work long hours and face a far harder era than I certainly did.

Quit complaining and start supporting them.

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