Juvenoia poses threat to each generation’s progress

December 7, 2017 — by Selena Liu

The professional term for a feeling of superiority and distrust for new trends among older generations is juvenoia.

As a young child, you may have noticed your older relatives glaring at you while you spent the weekend watching Disney Channel, obsessing over the latest Nintendo game or spending 30 minutes FaceTiming with a friend.

“Back in my day, we played outside, not on the internet,” they’d say, “Kids these days …”

The professional term for this feeling of superiority and distrust for new trends among older generations is juvenoia.

But as much as this hostility directed at millennials may serve to inspire us to work harder, it is usually counterproductive. Think about it: When your parents or grandparents tell you to “actually do something with your life,” do you really feel inspired, or do you just feel unnecessarily scolded?

Chris Ferguson from Time Magazine identifies the  “Goldilocks Effect” as the primary cause of juvenoia, in which  every generation feels that previous generations are too old-fashioned, and future generations are too unrestrained.

“Each generation thinks it gets culture ‘just right,’” Ferguson wrote in a recent issue.

Because of the Goldilocks Effect, every generation feels the need to criticize the next.

However, this supposed superiority complex isn’t accomplishing anything. Instead, it only bemoans the current generation for not following outdated methods and discourages the development of fresh perspectives.

As Forbes writer Adam Thierer puts it, “[Older generations] will react with extreme vigor against forces that counteract such an important part of their life program. This fear, in many cases, leads to overreaction, which in turn could give rise to greater problems as young people take detours around the roadblocks we erect.”

The only solution to repel these “roadblocks” would be for older generations to realize how fast modern society is developing.

Nowadays, people find new ways to communicate, share ideas and create. Access to computers, cell phones and the internet has made the world more efficient than ever. In the 20th century and earlier, people would spend more than eight hours a day inside factories. Now, people can make new products through the push of a single button.

Despite what older generations say, the world is progressing, even if it’s not how they envisioned it. Millennials have the chance to learn so much more about science and technology compared to past generations. If we stick to the same guidelines as back then, our society will not improve.

Different generations must work together instead of patronizing one another; older generations need to be more accommodating of our evolving society.

What we millennials can do, though, to stop this cycle is to accept the different social culture that comes with each generation.

When we grow old, we might feel the same things our parents or grandparents feel now, but at that point, we need to recall the time when we too were condescendingly lectured about our generation’s ways. Instead of speaking out against change, we can adapt to it.

Who knows, maybe we’ll even like it.



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