A few months ago, I wrote a rebuttal to all those parenting writers and mommy bloggers who insist that Gen X had the most awesomest and totally radical upbringing ever.
My article did not exactly go viral. I think it didn’t catch on because I pointed out, via facts and statistics, that it really wasn’t that great to grow up in the 1980s.
Apparently, this is not a popular position.
So you can imagine my annoyance when my social media feed was recently clogged with yet another trending article waxing nostalgic about those good old days.
You know the type of article I’m talking about. They are usually 10,000-word manifestos, written by Gen Xers, that hit the following points:
- Our parents ignored us or treated us like slave labor (and it was great!)
- We walked on freeways at midnight to go play in abandoned junkyards (and it was great!)
- We didn’t get coddled or get awards for participation (and it was great!)
- Kids today have it too soft (and that sucks!)
And so and so on, always without any data or links or any outside analysis that might support the writer’s viewpoint. These articles are huge hits on the internet, despite the fact (or perhaps because) they all pretty much read the same.
I won’t get into the myriad reasons why this overly sentimental mindset is flawed (after all, I wrote a whole article about that already).
I will just add something that I neglected to mention the first time through. All of these articles that get under my skin have the added benefit of coming from people who invariably grew up in white, middle-class suburbs. And now as adults, these writers just assume we all came from that same background and/or live under those circumstances today.
So whenever these writers gush about watching the Brady Bunch and then playing in their cul-de-sac until Dad came home from his office job, I zone out.
Let’s just say that lots of Hispanics, and presumably African Americans, didn’t have this experience. Hell, a lot of white rural and/or poor kids didn’t have this experience.
But the assumption holds that the baseline of normal is white, middle-class suburban. Yeah, that’s a bit irksome.
So do me a favor, and please stop forwarding these articles to me. I don’t buy their premise.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go listen to my old Journey and Def Leppard albums.