Don’t Let the Screen Door Hit You on the Way Out.

Our Screendoor Wasn't This Nice.People will try to tell you that young people today aren’t nearly as smart and focused as the kids 30-40 years ago. Kids under 18 are considered slackers and lazy.

This argument is mainly made by people who have forgotten how we were as kids.

I think older generations maintain a fear of a certain amount of kids in general. In particular, one strange and mysterious group who will from here on out be referred to as teenagers.

I am not sure from where this fear and trepidation comes, but I do think TV shows play a role by giving teenagers a bad name. Most of the high school kids on TV are pregnant, runaways, in a gang, drug users, thieves, steroid users, murderers, or at the minimum (and most likely) a smart mouth and know-it-all to their parents.

Today, I am here to make the argument that teenagers today, are not only as good as previous generations, but in fact they are better and even smarter than we were at the same age.

The reason they are smarter today, because they have better games to play. In particular, video games.

Think about it, kids 30-40 years ago had no video games. We lived in some sort of prehistoric world, where our form of entertainment was going outside and getting fresh air.

If we could round up enough kids from adjoining farms we might have been able to get a pickup game of tag or hide-in-seek going, but mainly we would chase cattle, throw rocks, and go to sleep at 7:00 p.m.

In the early 1900’s the most popular toy was Crayons (the word toy is questionable here). Our society advanced during the 40’s when Candyland was the number one choice. We tried to get smarter in the 1970’s when the Rubik’s Cube was the top seller, so we have made progress with our toys and our children’s intelligence (even though most of us couldn’t solve the Cube).

As old people we can’t even try and compare ourselves with today’s kids who play a minimum of 143 hours per week of X-Box.

Have you seen today’s video games? To anyone with a brain older than 27, they are unbelievably complicated. We have a better chance of understanding the depressed mind of a 15 year old girl, than we have of successfully playing and mastering a video game.

If you purchase a video game (for yourself), you might as well as throw your money in the sewer.

For one thing, you can’t hook-up the machine by yourself, and simply by trying you are guaranteed an aneurysm. You will be as confused as Paris Hilton at a spelling bee or Miss South Carolina on the topic of geography.

Items sold in stores come with labels that say things like “must be 6 years old” to play. Video games should say “if you pay for your own health insurance don’t even think about buying this because your head will explode”.

If by accident you can get the game hooked up, there is no chance you can actually play it.

There are too many buttons to push at once. There is a reason cell phones have a green button with a picture of a phone on it to push when we want to make a call, and a red one to push when the call is over. They are made for us, people who grew up playing Candyland.

So, there you go. Young people are smarter because they can play video games. We try and shame our kids, by convincing them that if they don’t go outside and play they are wasting their lives, but if there was an X-Box in the 50’s, 60’s, or 70’s our behinds would have been parked in the house on the couch (or davenport for you 50’s kids).

Don’t kid yourself about the good old days. We went outside because there was no air conditioning. In addition, our parents couldn’t stand listening to us any longer, so they didn’t allow us inside until they screamed for us (conveniently it was usually after dark).

If you don’t buy my argument, challenge a 12 year-old to the video game of his/her choice. If you can beat him/her then you can make the argument that we are smarter.

Actually if we were smarter than the average teenager, we wouldn’t have spent 12.5 billion dollars on video games in 2006.

We would just give our kids a Candyland game, a Rubik’s Cube, and send them outside until we called them in for dinner (most likely, well after dark).

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OJ, Rock Hudson, Nicole Ritchie, Sanjaya, and Paris Hilton.

Are we raising an entire generation of children whose goal is to be famous without having any discernable talent?

Everyone has a talent at something; you just have to find it. Our educational system isn’t really set up for discovering your individual talent, but that is a whole different blog.

When I was a kid, besides walking 12 miles to school each day- often times finding that both ways were up hill and it always seemed to be snowing, you had a goal for when you grew up. Granted, it was probably unrealistic, but it seemed liked everyone wanted to be a doctor, lawyer, nurse, baseball player, a train conductor, a mom, an astronaut- the list goes on. I Can Remember When O.J. Was a Good Guy.

We had role models, some that you could even count on (sorry, OJ). As I have gotten older, I have realized perception of our role models wasn’t actually reality (sorry, Rock Hudson). I think in 2007 with 24 hour news channels, we know way too much about everyone. Too much information about actors and actresses, politicians, and even famous people who aren’t even real celebrities and don’t have an ounce of talent (sorry, Nicole Ritchie).

Which brings me to my point that I believe kids today have grown up in an MTV Real World, Survivor, American Idol, Big Brother, and VH1 Reality show world in which people become famous simply because they get on TV. You don’t have to be good, or talented, or even have a skill. Sometimes the less talent you have, the more famous you can become (sorry, Sanjaya).

In the past, if you did something infamous, you were kicked out of the cool and famous group. Now, the more outlandish your behavior is, the more famous you can become.

We are going to end up with kids who think that if they can only get on TV and use terrible language, bad judgment, and make poor choices, that they will have a real chance to become famous and therefore, successful.

This may be true, but they will not have accomplished anything and they will not have made themselves or the world better (sorry, Paris Hilton). But they will be famous.

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