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Kids on the internet need to be less ignorantly arrogant and acquire some self-awareness


This comment on Youtube caught my eye: “OK, I’m 11 and I didn’t understand more than half of that” [edited for punctuation]. Trust an 11 year-old to open up for attack by leaving unnecessary comments on the internet, I thought. This kid needs to be told politely and in no uncertain terms to get the hell off the internet before the trolls show up and eat her (I think that it was a her) alive. So I asked, “If you’re 11, you’re a little young to be using the internet, aren’t you?” Her response was, and this has been slightly edited in the interest of coherence: “No, WTF makes you think that? So now you’re saying that I shouldn’t be using the Internet, I swear that there is something wrong with you, mind your own business, stay out of my life, ’cause I got this.” My gut reaction was, “OH HELL NO YOUNG LADY.”

Anyway, this kid is clearly not mature enough to be allowed on the internet. A lot of adults are just as bad but if they want to say something stupid, they’re old enough to make that decision. Not that I was trying to make any decisions for this particular kid but for the parents, you guys need to be parents. My kid sister mouths off a lot. When she does it out loud, my dad has this thing that he likes to say, “Every time you think that you’re being smart, you’re probably doing something stupid.” When she does it online, I’m the cyber parent so I annoy her with lectures and threaten to block sites.

Parents and teachers need to stop telling kids how smart they are just because they can figure out how to use smartphones. I agree that seniority can be utter bullshit when someone is older but less capable or less clever but kids are way too arrogant these days. My generation has a lot of douche-y people but if you look at today’s elementary school kids or even high school kids, they really think that they’re all that.

But it’s far too late to fix most of the parents and teachers, and principals and vice principals and school counselors. The reality is that arrogant kids don’t believe what you tell them unless they’ve learned it the hard way. Even if you try to raise your own kid right, she’s got her little friends at school influencing her. So we need adults who are active on the internet to school obnoxious underage users in the logic of manners (e.g. don’t tell people to mind their own business when you’re hypocritically minding other people’s business). How do you teach a kid to think before they type? I guess that this kind of project would require some field research.

Side thoughts: kids are arrogant off the internet as well. I see them dressed to the nines to seem twice their age, trying to mingle with the 20-something-s and 30-something-s, laughing like they get what we’re talking about. Or acting bored and jaded about things they don’t even understand yet.

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