As noted, this complaint has been going on forever. What is new is that this complaint has less legitimacy than it ever has in the past based on many measures. Dopers in general are not dumb yet we had a recent thread asking if homework and school requirements for our kids are much harder than anything we had to go through. The basic answer is yes, and the differences are measurable. My kids go to really good public schools in the U.S. that rank near the top of the charts worldwide (yes, they do exist) yet this is a widespread phenomenon.
There is a general phenomenon called the Flynn Effec that means that standardized tests have to constantly be re calibrated higher and higher over the decade to recenter average student performance. There are a lot of theories about why that happens including better general health to removing lead paint from the environment but the effect is extremely large. An average student in 1950 would be a special needs student today if they were dropped into the same classroom.
I grew up in the 1980’s and there was no way that we got better academic or social expectations than anything my daughters do today. We listened to Heavy Metal music and talked about satanic music while we smoked in the student’s lounge before we went to work after school with no homework.
Most kids today make me sick. All of their music is catchy, poppy and innocent. The most controversial thing they have is Miley Cyrus and that is pathetic on the rebellion scale. They just sit on their asses and do homework or official school activities and just hope that they will get into a good college based on hundreds of thousands of others just like them.
I laugh at their youth because I don’t think they are getting the most out of it compared to younger generations. Many of them won’t even learn how to drive until they are adults because they don’t have the money to do it. That is different from my Gen-X generation. I personally lost 5 friends to drunk driving accidents before I was 20 and two more by 25 yet the new ones don’t seem to be as keen on that idea. Who is better in that regard?