Generations and Public Affairs
Original post made by Paul Losch on Jan 23, 2011
My son and daughter are at their early adulthood years. Both profess to not follow the "News," and my son has told me he will not listen to KQED-FM (radio station that does a ton of stuff from NPR) because it was all he heard growing up in my household. (Due to me.)
My daughter, presently in China as a Junior year abroad college student, told me in an e-mail that she does not follow the News. Her response was from an e-mail I sent her about the horrible flooding in Queensland, Australia, which is a place she and I spent time when she was in middle school.
I don't think I am alone in my experiences with my kids. And it bothers me.
They present lack of interest and awareness in stuff that has an impact on their lives. Who do you vote for? How do you engage with issues and propositions?
Some of this may be that the way people in that cohort get their information in a different way. Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and Google are obvious examples. But the medium is less important than how it is used, what content is developed and sought? Posting on a Facebook wall about a personal activity is not the same as reading the NYT Op/Ed on line.
What has me concerned is that my 2 kids, educated in Palo Alto and going to good colleges, exemplify their cohort. They had great educations, and are indifferent to matters of society.
What do you think/feel?
Rule of engagement on this post--this is not about me or how I raised my kids, who both are fine people. Ad hominem critiques on my child rearing experience is not the issue, so don't post on this blog unless you have some ideas about this new generation and how they get informed.
on Jan 23, 2011 at 8:25 am
I am 60 years old. Most of my generation did not pay much attention to the news, when they were twenty-somethings, unless it had something to do with their lives, directly. For example the draft lottery number, and that was only the guys. Sure, there were a few exceptions, such as political activists, but not a lot. When the kids become directly invested in their own society, by paying for it through taxes, and when they start to raise their own kids, they will become much more aware of the news.
on Jan 23, 2011 at 8:30 am
My kids are the opposite. They are pretty much news junkies - a bit like me. They have gone through or still in Paly. They are more interested in some news, like politics, than we are. They enjoy discussing with each other who to vote for or whether to vote yes or no (or could if they are not old enough). They have had some good teachers at Paly which have brought history and government alive. They are well traveled so enjoy hearing about news from places they have been.
But, they are not likely to listen to NPR. They get their news from tv or online publications. They post some articles on their facebook pages and comment on news as their statuses and get responses from their friends.
I don't think you are to blame. I think perhaps they are too young and will work it out for themselves. Keep on sending them news from home. Send articles about Palo Alto and other places they are familiar with. I believe they will start reading when they want to.
on Jan 24, 2011 at 12:47 pm
> I am 60 years old. Most of my generation did not pay much
> attention to the news
Hmmm .. with the heaviest opposition to the Vietnam War coming from students .. it's a little hard to believe that all they understood about the matter was what their lottery number was. (Remember too, only men were drafted, and had lottery numbers.)
As to NPR, it is very one-side .. very slanted away from "the middle".
Given how biased it is .. it should not be called "Public Radio" and neither should it be funded with taxpayer dollars. People who believe in its message should contribute to it, and let it live or die on quality of its product, like any other business.