Tom Fogarty - QR Code

Young People are Idiots

It’s a well known fact that young people are stupid. Idiots, in fact. And when I say “young people”, I mean anyone under the age of 35. You don’t have to venture far afield to see this in action; public transport is full of the annoying fuckers, standing in stupid places, obliviously blocking the path of everyone else, completely absorbed by their phones, whilst simultaneously pumping shit music into their ears. So unaware are they towards their surroundings, or anything happening in the real world, it is surprising (and somewhat disappointing) that they do not blunder into oncoming trains or some other calamitous situation that would lead to their certain deaths. But it seems that – like pigeons and drunks – young people who are glued to their phones have some innate sixth sense that prevents them from being run over.

They care for little aside from Snapchat, bath bombs and expensive trainers, and have the attention span and memory retention that would make your average goldfish look like a member of MENSA. They embody the decadent, selfish society that we live in and they are a generation who feel entitled to everything whilst contributing very little and taking responsibility for nothing.

This probably sounds like the bitter rant of an aged, baldie web developer who doesn’t understand what drill music is (and you’d be right!), but in some ways it feels like society is regressing, and a whole generation of social media addicts are heading back to the swamps until they learn how to use their thumbs for something more useful than texting or “liking” Kim Kardashian’s latest Instagram post. Look at a random young person from 80 years ago: they would have probably lied about their age and gone off to fight in a war at 14, been married by 18 and had 3 children by 21 (whom they would have paid for themselves). Whereas, the average young person these days still probably lives at home at 30.

I don’t mean to sound completely critical and harsh, however. They do possess a set of core skills that the rest of us lack. Take for example, the barcode in the hero image above. A young person would not need to have it explained to them that that is a QR code, and by taking a photo of it with a free QR scanner app, they would be given a special treat. They would instinctively know this already. Try it for yourself!

Spending every spare second staring at meaningless memes has also given them a keen eye for detail, that the average old person lacks. And when I say “old person“, I mean anyone over the age of 35. For example, if you need to know if a dress is white and gold or blue and black, ask a young person and they will be able to set you straight. If you have no idea what I’m actually referencing here, it probably means you are over 35 (like me) – but here’s the gist: a couple of years ago there was a raging debate online, arguing over whether a stripy dress in a wedding photo was white and gold or blue and black. It turned out to be a simple trick of the light and I’ve created a similar image here to demonstrate this; if you’re not sure if the image below contains mainly gold or mainly blue stripes, click on it for a close-up that might surprise you.

In a similar vein, there was an audio illusion early last year that split social media users, and young people would probably be the best arbitrators if you need a definitive answer. Listen to the following audio clip and decide what you think is being said. Some people claim to hear the word “brainstorm” while others claim it is “green needle“. You be the judge…

Listen to AUDIO

Now I’m not the kind of person who would claim that everything was better when I was young, but, everything was better when I was young; we lived in a simple time where Michael Jackson and Glitter filled the charts and Freddy Kruger filled our dreams; pornography couldn’t be found at the click of a button – it had to be foraged down the side of railway embankments – and you had to ask your mum before you could use the telephone.

Those were the days…