TED Conversations

Cloe Shasha

Associate Programs Producer, TED Content, TED


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What are the defining qualities of today's youth?

Every generation seems to think that the next generation is vastly different from their own.

The characteristics that a generation identifies with, however, may not be the characteristics that others believe that generation identifies with.

Are there any defining qualities of today's youth that you have observed that you believe are relevant to the youth of the world?

Is it even possible to attribute qualities to an entire generation around the world?


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  • Oct 16 2011: Youth's primary characteristic today is a "Good Will Hunting" attitude, as thr character in this movie they have unlimited access to information but have not developed the tools and maturity that only experience brings, thus making them unnecesarily reckless and dismisive of taking advice.

    This kind of attitude has allowed youth to grow a sense of power over any hipotetic situation they are faced with but a terrible sense of powerlessness once they actually are placed face to face with a real situation in which they need to use their so called "knowledge"

    We have an amazing opportunity to generate as has been suggested on several of the comments the most inteligent and prepared generation ever, but we are also on the brink of having the most pulled back, lazy and uncommited generation ever as this has been shown in a lot of countries where youth has exercised their option to neither study or work, but just navigate through life in the virtual realm while others take responsability for leading their countries while they sit on the sidelines and don't even take the time to contemplate.
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      Oct 16 2011: I feel as though my generation (being this generation) has potential, but the majority of us aren't mature enough yet.
      • Oct 16 2011: Nathan, I believe that maturity will come with time, but in order for that maturity to translate into real experience that allows an individual to make use of all the tools and benefits that this times have provided young individuals need to allow for patience and understanding of the natural process of growing up.

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