In a four-part show of terrible, patronizing journalistic analysis entitled “How the Kids Do It Now,” with parts three and four yet to be released at the time of writing, two writers take on the formidable task of describing just how disconnected older generations are from Millennials.
From the looks of the first two installments, The Wire’s purpose in publishing this series is to inspire widespread parental terror; the content plays directly into older generations’ fears of how modern day social situations work among young people, not to mention the worry over our deteriorating morals. The first article describes the prom experience, with a section solely dedicated to “The After Party,” and the second explaining how high school and college students (“the kids”) party.
The latter article outlines the partying process and answer pressing questions, such as “What is beer pong?” and “What is pre-gaming?” There are six sections of deep analysis, entitled “The Pre-Game,” “Drinking Games,” “Fake IDs,” “The Parties,” “Photos on Social Media” and “#Vapelife.”
The first section, “The Pre-Game,” is fairly straightforward in nature. However, it does give off the air of an individual reporting on the behaviors of rare animals living wildly in their natural habitat, free from zookeeper or park ranger supervision. It’s one of those excerpts that you can’t help but imagine the authors conspiratorially and genially whispering information like, “Every party and event, day and night, begins with a preliminary get-together beforehand, referred to as ‘pre-game.’”
One of the defining quotes of the next section, “Drinking Games,” comes when describing the card game Kings. The line reads, “If someone picks up a six, all ‘chicks’ (i.e. women) drink.” The rest of the information provided gives a general description of how to play beer pong, while innocently remarking about the age divide between young people and real adults.
The “Fake IDs” passage describes the process by which underage partiers gain access to bars and clubs (some people order their fakes online from China!), while the following one, entitled “The Partiers,” focuses on the transition from pre-game to “house party, frat party, bar or club.” In this section the writers do not disappoint, choosing to go from discussing typical party themes, which try to encourage people to “dress as slutty as possible,” to a primary goal of partying, sex. How is the sex initiated? Well, there’s an answer to that too: the sloppy DFMO, the dance floor make-out, pronounced, according to the article, dee-eff-moe.
As readers, we make the transition from a party paragraph high to a very discouraging section on “Photos on Social Media.” The fact that this part did not once mention the word “selfie” is a serious blow to the article’s overall credibility. The authors didn’t even take the obvious opportunity to make a jab at our narcissistic generation, instead choosing to focus on how underage social media users are able to boost their clout without potentially wrecking future job opportunities.
Finally, the articles wrap up with “#Vapelife,” providing a description of e-cigs and attempting to understand why vaping “kids these days” think that inhaling flavored smoke is cooler than it actually is. This section ends on a rather ominous note, with authors promising their audience that they’ll monitor vapers’ Instagrams to see if they eventually join a frat.
Overall, this little insight into the Millennials seems to be much more telling of the nature of its authors.
Briana Reilly ([email protected]) is a freshman intending to major in journalism and international studies.
[Photo by Flickr user nuzine.eu]