Are kids crazy nowadays?

:frowning: People do horrible, heinous things every day. Right now someomeone somewhere is doing some incredibly cruel and sadistic thing to another human being. We see it on the news all o the time, and most of us shrug, say “Wow, thats awful!” and move on.

But this story bugged me. Maybe because I have really just heard about it, and because CNN showed a picture of the victim. He looked like a normal everyday kid. They said on the news that he has been burnt on 65% of his body!

What were these other kids thinking? How could they possibly concieve of doing something like that over what? A disagreement? A video game? When I was 15 I had other kids that I absolutely hated, but I never thought “I’ll set his ass on fire! That’ll teach 'im to mess with me!”.

I’m depressed now. Are kids just crazier nowadays or has it always been like that and I just didn’t notice?

It was not only like that, it was worse for a while. Violent crime is down to levels it hadn’t been to since the 1970s.

I hate to say that 24-hour news channels make it seem like there’s lots more horrible stuff going on…

It’s true. It’s all perception. Like **Anne **said, violent crime is way down. You just hear more about it.

Yeah, and I think it’s really sad - so many people think that all “the kids today” are awful, horrible people, simply because this stuff is constantly in our faces, even though it’s actually less prevalent than it used to be.

Poor kids, they’re all getting labelled as nutbags because they’re the first generation to grow up in such a news-saturated culture.

“Kids today” being portrayed as awful, horrible people is hardly a new phenomenon, though. I suspect every generation of humans that ever grew up got that to some degree.

Why do you hate to say it? It’s a good thing! I don’t get why people seem to enjoy celebrating all this horrid stuff on the Internet/news media 24 hours a day. And it needs to be said. On another website I frequent, I see women posting about how hard it is to be female and how men just don’t get that we’re constantly monitoring for the threat of rape–something I just don’t get. Every attempt I make to interject with the fact that men are often at a higher risk of violence and that sexual violence from a stranger is fairly low, and that in fact, violence and crime in general is quite low, is usually met with stuff like “Well, I don’t trust fact, I trust my experience.”

We just think that everything’s changed but it hasn’t, not for the worse anyway. I bet if we did the research we could find quite a few horrid disgusting tales that may not have made national news but that happened, from the 60s or 70s.


I especially loved when someone said “things like this didn’t happen when we were kids”, referring to the Jaycee Dugard kidnapping case. If you’re around my age, then oh yes things like that most certainly did happen when you were a kid.

But one thing I do think is different is kids doing murderous things to other kids. Was that as prevalent as now? Of course, there’s always been youth gangs. But was murder between them ever so casual as it is now? Would it have been if earlier kid gangs had had access to guns and cars the way they do now?

My daughter goes to a ‘bad’ high school. I have know idea how it got the ‘bad’ label. We had more fights in the first week at the high school I went to in '82 than this one has had in 4 years. The absolute apogee of troublemaking at my daughter’s school is pulling the fire alarm. At my high school, one kid crushed the skull of another kid with a baseball bat. The kid’s at my daughter’s school are too apathetic to go find a baseball with which to fight. The kid’s at my high school would beat each other because of the clothes they were wearing. Even football games with rival schools are tame to the point of being boring. In my day, when Reagan played LBJ, we’d rush the field and riot no matter who won.

No, kid’s are aren’t crazy today. We just believe what the media feeds us.

Brenda Spencer, of “I don’t like Mondays” fame. Or there’s Stacey Tinberg, a Kansas eighth grader who had nitric acid thrown at her by another girl in her school who was jealous of her appearance in 1977.

Early 1980’s. I saw one girl on my bus cut another girl’s face to the bone, and all the way through the cheek, with a razor blade, over a minor disagreement.

No, it’s no different now.

Actually, I consider the early eighties a part of our common era. I mean, old times. Consider Al Capone’s youth gang at the turn of the century, the Dead Rabbits I believe it was called. I know they put out a “menu” of what they would do for money, and that it included murder for $100.00. But was that just macho bravado? Would they have killed as casually as say, the Four Corner Hustlers or the Latin Kings kids would do today?

Correction: Upon further study, the Dead Rabbits was an Irish gang from the mid 1800’s. Al Capone’s formative gang was loosely known as the Five Points Gang.

It’s the age group. Every generation has it’s share of ratbags. What’s different is society has become more selfish, less caring and downright assholes. We have a number of kids on the our block who are typical ratbags (the age group), but the difference is their parents, they’re assholes as well.

It appears that they are not crazy so much as increasingly suffering from narcissism. Some of them are so narcissistic that they have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, so perhaps you could label those ones as a little crazy.

Or maybe not. Kids today (Millennials) are gaining a reputation for volunteering for a lot of charity work. You can volunteer and give to charity and still be an asshole, but selfish and uncaring? Maybe not.

Kids are always crazy. In fact I’d broaden that and say people are generally nuts. But it’s not worse today. I don’t think people really change all that much. The technology we use and the situations we find ourselves in can change a lot, but people act pretty much the same in those changing contexts.

I’m reading the Ray Bradbury short story “The Trunk Lady,” first published in 1944. In it, a character says something to the effect that “These kids today…all they read is trash.” Okay, a little different than the OP, but the point is the same: today’s kids are more worthless/trashy/boneheaded etc. than in my day.

The sentiment’s been going on a long time.

There are always horrible sadistic people of every age. The ease that news spreads from every corner of the world is what makes this seem like a glut of abhorrent people.

And they engaged in a gang war with another gang, the Eastman Gang. That probably involved much the same things that gang wars today do.

As long as there have been humans, there have been assholes. There’s a rule in the Bible (Leviticus 19:14) against placing a stumbling block in front of a blind person. If there were no assholes around when it was written, there would be no need for such a rule.