Internet Rips Older Generations for Unhelpful Advice

Thousands of young internet users were eager to share their biggest gripes about the advice they’ve received from members of older generations.

In a viral Reddit thread published on r/AskReddit, Redditor u/baker10923 (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) asked the forum’s 35.8 million members to share the least helpful suggestions commonly given by those who came before them.

Titled, “Younger people of Reddit. What are you tired of hearing from older generations?” the thread has received more than 34,000 votes and nearly 20,000 comments in the last nine hours.

Responding to the prompt issued by the original poster, Redditors offered a myriad of responses ranging from computer-illiterate qualms to greater questions of morality.

In the thread’s top comment, which has received more than 39,000 votes, Redditor u/RedSoxNation09 said the proliferation of cell phones has revealed a trend of hypocrisy in both of their older parents.

“‘You kids and these damn phones…,'” they wrote, sarcastically echoing the common criticism. “My parents are on their phones more than I am.”

“By a lot,” they added.

Redditor u/lipp79, whose comment has received more than 37,000 votes responded to the original poster similarly.

“‘Don’t believe everything you see on the internet’ ~ my parents when I was a teenager in the late 90s,'” they wrote. “Now I have to tell my parents that.”

Among a sea of like comments, pointing out the technological deficiencies of older generations, one Redditor turned their attention on onto one of the internet’s most hotly-debated topics: participation trophies.

“I’m sick of hearing about them b**ching about participation trophies,” u/photoguy423 wrote in a comment which has received nearly 8,000 votes.

“I got one in middle school and was told to appreciate that I got it,” they continued. “I didn’t want it. I knew that I hadn’t done anything to deserve a trophy.”

“People love complaining about how participation trophies ruined children when it was the adults that decided to hand them out,” they added.

Man staring at phone perplexed
Members of Reddit’s r/AskReddit forum banded together to share examples of unhelpful advice they’ve received from members of older generations.
mangpor_2004/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Over the last half-decade or so, numerous high-profile publications and media outlets have taken aim at participation trophies and the young competitors who have received them.

In July 2015, an episode of HBO’s Real Sports examined youth sports teams, leagues and the trophies that come along with them.

Noting that many elementary school-aged athletes are “guaranteed” a trophy at the end of each season, regardless of their team’s success, Real Sports narrator Bernie Goldberg welcomed viewers to “America’s trophy culture.”

The same month as HBO’s trophy deep-dive, lifestyle magazine Men’s Journal published an article titled, “How Participation Trophies Are Making Our Kids Soft,” and eviscerated the practice of rewarding children for “just showing up.”

“Studies have shown that rewarding kids just for participating can have a negative impact, producing a self-obsessed, irresponsible, and unmotivated generation of false achievers,” Men’s Journal writer Evan Grossman asserted.

In the years following Real Sports: Trophy Nation and Grossman’s takedown, numerous other outlets, including The New York Times, have published op-eds and other articles meant to disparage participation trophies and the supposed danger they pose to children who, according to detractors, are incapable of understanding the difference between winning and losing.

However, many who incessantly complain about participation trophies fail to consider one important factor: themselves.

While children are often the recipients of “meaningless” participation trophies, they are not the ones making the decisions about who deserves to be rewarded and who doesn’t. Those decisions are made by “the adults,” as u/photoguy423 pointed out, and “the adults” are the ones most frequently complaining about those same trophies.

In a separate comment left on the original poster’s viral thread, which has received nearly 16,000 votes, Redditor u/Tuba_Crusader translated the participation trophy debate into more general terms.

Writing that they are often told that the current generation is “sensitive” and were never “taught hard work,” u/Tuba_Crusader questioned who is to blame for both of those seeming issues.

“[Y’all] literally raised us,” they wrote. “How is it our faults?”

“Like when they complain about how kids got participation trophies,” Redditor u/vkapadia chimed in.

“Dude, it was your idea, no kid thought up of it,” they added.

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