"Today’s teens are … less likely to date. The initial stage of courtship, which Gen Xers called “liking” (as in “Ooh, he likes you!”), kids now call “talking”—an ironic choice for a generation that prefers texting to actual conversation. After two teens have “talked” for a while, they might start dating. But only about 56 percent of high-school seniors in 2015 went out on dates; for Boomers and Gen Xers, the number was about 85 percent.
The decline in dating tracks with a decline in sexual activity. The drop is the sharpest for ninth-graders, among whom the number of sexually active teens has been cut by almost 40 percent since 1991. The average teen now has had sex for the first time by the spring of 11th grade, a full year later than the average Gen Xer. Fewer teens having sex has contributed to what many see as one of the most positive youth trends in recent years: The teen birth rate hit an all-time low in 2016, down 67 percent since its modern peak, in 1991.
Even driving, a symbol of adolescent freedom inscribed in American popular culture, from Rebel Without a Cause to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, has lost its appeal for today’s teens. Nearly all Boomer high-school students had their driver’s license by the spring of their senior year; more than one in four teens today still lack one at the end of high school. For some, Mom and Dad are such good chauffeurs that there’s no urgent need to drive. “My parents drove me everywhere and never complained, so I always had rides,” a 21-year-old student in San Diego told me. “I didn’t get my license until my mom told me I had to because she could not keep driving me to school.” She finally got her license six months after her 18th birthday. In conversation after conversation, teens described getting their license as something to be nagged into by their parents—a notion that would have been unthinkable to previous generations." The Atlantic
Well, pilgrims, my generation did all these things with a vengeance as soon as we could manage it and we could hardly wait to leave home. This was in the 50s. The idea of having your mom drive you to school would have been pretty close to the world's worst thing.
I know a number of young people from the generation under discussion and they are incomprehensible to me. They are well described in this article. They seem to be frozen in childhood, content to be fed, watered like plants and expectant of endless praise whether it is deserved or not. This brings to mind Garrison Keilors description of the children of his mythical Lake Wobegon, Minnesota who are said to be "all above average."
They remind me of the completely isolated people in Asimov's novel "The Caves of Steel" in which individuals live isolated from each other, communicating and working remotely., only coming together occasionally for reproductive sex.
One wonders what happens when these creatures are finally forced to live and interact in the context of an organization that demands performance in return for money. Ah, well I have seen this occur among the children of my friends. Typically these young people have a hard time holding a job. pl