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As we journey through the rollercoaster of time, it’s fascinating to see how societal norms and behaviors evolve. One of the most entertaining aspects of this evolution is the stark contrast between the manners of yesteryears and those of today’s youth. The Baby Boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, grew up in an era where etiquette was as essential as Sunday’s roast dinner. Fast forward to the present day, and we find a younger generation who are rewriting the rule book on manners, often leaving their elders aghast.
Boomer: “Please and thank you are the magic words.”
Young Person: “Yeah, sure.”
Boomers were taught to use polite language as a sign of respect, while today’s youth often opt for more casual expressions.
Respect for Elders
Boomer: “Respect your elders.”
Young Person: “Okay, boomer.”
The phrase “Okay, boomer” has become a popular retort among young people, often used to dismiss or mock older people’s views.
Boomer: “Children should be seen and not heard.”
Young Person: “I have a right to express my opinion.”
Boomers grew up in an era where children were expected to be quiet and obedient, while today’s youth are encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings.
Courtesy Towards Elders
Boomer: “Always offer your seat to an elder.”
Young Person: “Why should I? They can stand.”
The younger generation’s emphasis on equality sometimes leads to a lack of traditional courtesies, such as offering one’s seat to an older person.
Boomer: “Never interrupt when someone is speaking.”
Young Person: “But I have something important to say!”
Interruptions during conversations are more common among today’s youth, who value immediacy and directness.
Gratitude and Appreciation
Boomer: “Always write a thank you note.”
Young Person: “I’ll just send a text.”
While Boomers often show their gratitude through handwritten notes, younger generations prefer to express thanks through digital means.
Respect for Parents
Boomer: “Never talk back to your parents.”
Young Person: “You don’t understand me!”
Today’s youth are more likely to voice their disagreements with their parents, contrasting with the Boomer generation’s emphasis on respecting parental authority.
Boomer: “Always dress appropriately for the occasion.”
Young Person: “I’ll wear what I want.”
Younger generations often prioritize personal expression over traditional dress codes, leading to a more relaxed approach to attire.
Boomer: “Always arrive on time.”
Young Person: “Sorry I’m late, I lost track of time.”
While Boomers typically view punctuality as a sign of respect, younger generations may have a more flexible approach to time.
Boomer: “Always use proper table manners.”
Young Person: “Eating with my hands is more fun.”
Traditional table manners, such as using utensils for all meals, may be less strictly adhered to by today’s youth.