Teens becoming disrespectful, losing sympathy for others

Caroline Barger

More stories from Caroline Barger

Respect is something that everyone deserves to have, but not everyone receives. As children, parents teach their kids to respect their elders, but has this trend dwindled within the younger generations? According to Sven Mørch, a psychology lecturer at the University of Copenhagen, the lack of manners has always been around. In previous generations, misbehavior and disrespect was an act of rebellion against authorities, whereas part of today’s youth is so caught up in themselves that no sense of authority exists.

In reality TV shows nowadays, such as Jersey Shore these so-called celebrities speak their minds and have no regard for the consequences it may bring them. Like many international researchers, Mørch mentions reality TV as being highly influential in the development of young people’s personalities. He argues that this is due to the delusive reality portrayed in these TV shows, which shows them how other youths appear to behave.

Studies have shown that younger generations are not only displaying a lack respect but are also losing the sympathy for others. Research recently published results having studied empathy in 14,000 college students over a 30-year period. The study indicated that since the year 2000, students have become 40 percent less empathetic than 20-30 years ago. This means that the younger generations have grown to learn that it is not as important to give advice and console the people they are close to.

It is good to have confidence and be able to express to others what is on their mind, but there is also a line that must be a line drawn between speaking one’s mind and disrespecting people.