Young People: Out of Control or misunderstood?

I am someone who likes to look for the best things in people, not the worst, whether this be professionally or in friendship etc.

This blog is one I have been meaning to get out onto the keyboard for a while but something else has always propped up.

The subject for my blog this week is how all young people are being tarred with the same brush over a wide range of issues. This blog may sound like I have a chip on my shoulder and to be honest with you all, I think I do.

We today live in a society where the media has a very powerful hold on how information can be portrayed to the public. This can be via the TV, newspapers, Radio, Internet, on mobile phones and MP3 Players. The media having such easy access to a large number of people, this then makes me angry when young people as whole are portrayed in the wrong light.

I recently saw a BBC video on young holiday makers in Zante and how they are ‘killing the island’ and that drastic measures have to be taken to curb this. Now last summer I went to Zante with 23 other friends from college. We had an amazing time, a safe time and will always remember how good that island and its people made our summers be. We got to know a lot of people over there and everyone was the same as us, out there with mates to have a good time, yes drink, dance and stay up till the early hours but noone was there on the intent of making trouble. This annoys me how the small majority, and locals agree, spoil it by doing something silly or stupid which is then thrusted into the media spotlight to make all young holiday makers look like wild animals.

This media protraction then is reflected when youngsters get home. Young adults are then looked down upon, being seen as unruly and dangerous when the majority of us have good educations, go to university or have a job, want to make something of our lives, but yes like to have a good time. It is the people that do not have this and are the trouble like all societies have which are then used as a stereotype. Many a time I have had to defend myself and my principles to older members of society and show them that I and nor are my friends like that and in fact that it is plain arrogant by older people to think this. Maturity is made when one takes the time to discover, not judge.

This can also be seen in many other aspects of a young persons life such as the way they dress, if they drive, what music they listen to etc. One example I find funny was that I was once at home in Blackburn and had been to the gym, now normally I swear smart clothes and look presentable, but on this day I had been to the gym and looked rough, as I was walking to my car in tracksuit bottoms and a sports shirt, I noticed that older people actually avoided walking by me, maybe for fear of being mugged or because I smelt! Now when I am dressed normally, no such thing happens. I think that is an insight that the society that we live in needs to be totally re-evaluated in how we look at each other, not to judge a book by its cover, look for the great things that young people do, the great things that they hope to achieve.

One last thought I would like to put to people is that older people should not be so quick to judge young people, as it will be those young people who will be caring for their aging population in future years.

This is a very vague blog by myself although I feel I have got the general message across. I appreciate any insight or comments you may have. In your eyes I may be wrong, but this is my opinion.

Mark Harrop

Representation and Campaigns Officer

BUCF

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9 thoughts on “Young People: Out of Control or misunderstood?

  1. Great blog Mark. You are right young people are villainised in todays society and it is for the most part grossly unfair. That said I do believe many youths today are out of control which I believe is the result of the breakdown of the family unit and the erosion of social and moral values that occurred with the election of Phony Blair and his ‘Cool Britainnia’ politics.

  2. Ah but Dan you do sort of go back on yourself there, you say many youths are out of control because of a breakdown in the family system, family being at the heart of tory theory, however I still do feel this is a tiny percentage of all youths and families out there.
    I have a wide range of friends from the very rich to the not so rich and yet what I find is that usually the kids go off the rails for a few months while they are growing up, but mature with thicker skin at the end of it.
    I do agree that Labours social policy has been a shame for the country and has not focused on what is needed for the small minority, but what upsets me more is that the great things young people are doing is going un-praised.

  3. Barriers to entry to the media have never been lower. Rather than blaming the media, the younger generation should be shaping it. As a society, I agree we should spend more time focusing on the worthwhile activities rather than giving delinquents the attention they are seeking.

  4. Due to the lack of flexibility in the curriculum at present, vast swathes of children are made to feel like failiures at school, before they really even get going. We need to start developing other skills in schools which appeal to those more practical minded. Through a more dynamic and responsive curriculum the traditional core subjects could still be delivered but outside of the classroom.

    Getting a student who struggles with English to read shakespeare is almost impossible, get them to read a manual to build something, then you’ll see some real engagement.

  5. Good blog Mark, some very true points.
    Ryan I think you are right to an extent too. As society develops curricula must also progress. But we cannot forget the importantance of basic core subjects such as basic maths, English and science. On top of that I think that it is vital young people acuire a good knowledge of how they came to be, and how their surroundings developed. History is extremely important, especially British history. We should have a curriculum that covers aspects such as the industrial revolution, the civil war, the wars and eras of peace and the social development of Britain post-1945. Of course the positive aspects should be taught alongside the negative; the British Empire had some hugely beneficial results, but it also caused a number of great injustices. If children and adults understand how British politics and society have progressed they might learn to find an interest in contributing further to that development.

  6. Most young people make valuable contributions to their communities which we sometimes feel go unnoticed but then again look at the top right hand corner of this page which was awarded ‘Best Young Conservative Blog’. We should not worry too much then and with posts like this one Mark, I should hope that the positive contribution of young people will recieve even more attention. “You can get it if you really want it”. Thank you for a fab post Mark!

  7. The media certainly entices prejudice in our society, always have. By focusing their lenses on such a narrow feild of view, their audience is often lead to believe the issue is larger than its reality. I agree with a couple of comments above, young people should be taking the opportunity to infiltrate the media and instigate change one small step at a time. Start calling/emailing your local newspapers/magazines/radio & tv stations with story ideas that do actually focus on the positive activities of young people. Change peoples perceptions, give them another angle to the story. Timely post Mark!

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