I’m sad that Crabby Old Fart has folded up his blog on The Problem With Young People, especially since he never covered the topic that’s been bothering me: The problem of non-excited kids these days. I’ve noticed this lack of excitement for years now, but let’s take more recent events like last weekend for example. Halloween being on a Sunday prompted me to throw a Halloween party for my eleven year old and her friends. The party started late afternoon and at dusk they went trick or treating. I asked my daughter the next day after she came home from school if her friends had a good time. “I don’t know, they didn’t mention it.”
Ah ha, same as last month when I threw her birthday party, no one mentioned it then either. No recaps or reenactments, nada. Where’s the enthusiasm? Before you accuse me of throwing uneventful parties, I must inform you that this is an epidemic everywhere. Even Halloween itself is on steroids nowadays in hopes to motivate some excitement, e.g., media hype, commercialism, and costumes—no more plastic Casper masks, no siree.
When I was a kid, it was about the candy and how much of it we could get. Decorations were limited to carved pumpkins and costumes were homemade. Not anymore, Now retailers must keep shaking things up to stimulate reaction out of these not-easily-amused kids. Disneyland tries, bless them. But back when they weren’t trying as hard (back when you handed over a ticket for rides. Oh, no. I feel so old), it really was the “Happiest Place On Earth”. It showed on the kids’ faces. Now it’s double-sized, overpriced and overcrowded and kids aren’t talking about it the next day at school.
In fact, it’s like pulling teeth to find out what some kids did over the summer. I usually ask the parents and usually the summer vacations they had were scream worthy: overseas trips, mission trips, etc., heck, they could’ve rocketed to space and back and I’d never get the kid to confess.
I don’t know what’s gotten into kids these days, but I find it very disturbing their lack of cheer. Like how can I profit from these future readers of my books if they can’t get excited about it enough to spread the joy? (I know. You thought I was actually concerned for the mental state of today’s youth and not about making a buck. Thank you for thinking so highly of me. It makes me warm and tingly and even excites me.)
When I was a kid and finished a book I liked, I’d talk about it for months. I’d shout my love for it from the rooftops. And the books I’d read I’d chosen from the praises of other rooftop criers. But today’s kids are tomorrow’s readers of my book (and yours) and the way they are behaving right now it could be the best damn book they ever read and no one would ever know it.
Have you noticed this trend? What’s wrong? Is word-of-mouth extinct? Can we fix it? Put it on the endangered lists?