Today, your age classifies you into a certain stereotype that not everyone falls into. It’s the generation of hoodies, thugs and drugs. Quite often too, there are knives, pregnancies and falling school results. But who has actually done all this research and concluded that everyone between the ages of 14-19 are vandals? Have they actually spoken to every one of them or just picked a select bunch from the roughest area in London? I’m guessing the second one. These problems that, yes, I’m not saying do not happen, are assigned to our generation are the problems that tend to make the news headlines; and they linger around for weeks until the media have something better and more juicy to top it. Little wonder that the public are fearful of young people or that young people are scared of their peers. You never hear of a teenager hitting the top stories for doing something to help or make a difference to the community, so has all this publicity about teens been going on for so long that it has now become norm and nobody feels a ‘warm-hearted’ story will sell? Survey, commissioned by Young People Now magazine, suggests third of press articles about young people were about crime and 71% saw young people negatively. What does this say about our elders and sometimes peers?
Maybe the nation just does not believe the good things we have to say anymore. Even when they do produce a positive story regarding a young person, they always have to mention something to balance out. For example, the other day I was watching a segment on the news about 3 boys that has set up their own gardening business. Now this is a good thing, but the media had to add a snippet of information about how they all left school at 15 with no qualifications to their names. Why did that need to be said? Why did the media yet again, portray our generation to be careless and not take our lives seriously? The media did to a point try to focus on the actual idea of the story- the fact they had set up their own business at 17, which is remarkable in these times- but they failed miserably to aim solely at that. People need to stop naively believing everything they see or read and make their judgments’ based on personal experiences. It’s time for adults to do some growing up.
To top it all off, news reports completely contradict each other. According to some papers, all 16-year-old girls are flouncing around getting pregnant, but the average age of a first time mother is now above 30. What about our academic successes? They can be explained away by easier exams. In a few short words, the status and value of school exams, not to mention the effort put in by young people across the UK, had been totally undermined. If GCSE students have been reading the “dumbing down” comments, who knows how many may have changed their mind and abandoned their education. Let’s face it, who wants to take on two years’ worth of work to have their efforts so easily dismissed by statistics? The negative way in which the press reports on exams is sadly something we’ve just come to expect. But what a lot of young people don’t realise is that it’s not just education where our achievements are diminished by the media.