The Dumbest Generation Essay | Teen Ink

The Dumbest Generation Essay

March 27, 2009
By Anonymous

Some people around us think teens these days are the dumbest generation. Actually, a lot of adults do. But there are some that think teens are excelling, instead of becoming less intelligent. To me, I agree with the negative thoughts and the positive. I don’t think teens are extremely dumb, but we can be lazy. There are times when we can excel. It is said that kids don’t read enough books, or read enough at all. Kids don’t read for pleasure anymore, only when they have to. But there is some research showing that teens do. Others say that the internet and the television aren’t helping either, and that test scores have been going down for the past years. What is it really? Are teens really excelling, or are we the dumbest generation?
Some research shows that teens don’t read enough, and some of it says they do. The National Literacy Trust says, “Kids don’t read the kinds of books their parents or teachers want them to read”. I can agree with that, but I can also disagree. Teens don’t always want to read history or classics, we like to have some fun and have some imagination, and there are times when we do want to read a classic. More information I found from the Gale Database, “Teen Reading”, by Joseph Mcdonald, stated that kids are reading all over the place. Not just from books, but from billboards, signs, texts, etc. They aren’t the best, but if you add that all into one year, it can add up. Teens also rather read something with more action or fantasy, but at least their reading something, and kids actually read a lot more than others think. From the study from the National Literacy Trust, it says that public libraries lend millions of books each year to teens and children, and that teens are big borrowers. Kids do read, it just depends on what it is.

Teens apparently don’t read for pleasure anymore either. Tthe book, The Dumbest Generation, by Mark Bauerlein, says that kids don’t read for fun. They don’t know how to relax and reflect on things like books. Teens only read when they have to. But there is some research proving that kids actually do read for fun. Again, from the National Literacy Trust survey, kids read a lot more than what adults think, about 20-30 percent. Sure, kids go onto the computer and watch a lot of television, but they are reading. But I have to agree with Mark Bauerlein and with the research showing that kids do read. I’m caught in between. Students and friends around me are always reading. They read for hours on end, and then they talk about what happened. But then there are others that don’t read at all. They complain about every book they see. How it’s not interesting, or it’s too long. It depends on the kid. Some like to read, some don’t.

Another problem according to adults is that the internet and the television are taking over teens lives, and they never read anymore. Since they’re not reading, their test scores are getting lower. From the book, Millennials Rising, the Next Generation, by Niel Howe and William Strauss, says that kids’ test scores actually have risen over the years, due to kids reading outside of school. If one student fails a test, it doesn’t mean that everybody will too. Bauerlein only seems to get his research in one area (like in one state), that’s not enough information on the whole United States. Teens in one area could be failing, but not everybody. I think he needs to be more specific. He can’t blame everyone for some mistakes a couple of kids did. Teens failing those tests are probably generally in that area, not the whole world. But some kids are affected by Internet chat rooms and blogs. They’re always glued to the computer, and playing video games. Some kids do need to read more. But not everyone is going to be perfect.

I don’t know what will happen in the future for teens and kids. Maybe they will rise, and become the smartest generation, or they’ll fall. Even if teens do rise, some will still think they are the dumbest generation, not holding onto the ‘old’ things. We could be the dumbest generation, but I think we’re actually the laziest generation. Some kids will push themselves to do their work well, others will put it off. But I still don’t know. This generation could be rising and falling.

Howe, Neil. Millennials Rising. New York: 2000
Robert, Capriccico. .
"National Literacy Trust." 23 Mar 2009 .

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.