Age of Outrage: Stop getting outraged by the younger generation

The world is changing. What was acceptable only a few short years ago is now labelled offensive. Social media is full of outrage from those who don't accept the status quo, and from those who won't accept change.

The Age of Outrage is a new series from Newshub exploring the changes taking place in society right now. Is it all PC gone mad? And who, exactly, are the snowflakes? Join the conversation - #AgeofOutrageNZ on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

OPINION: Is anyone else bored of listening to middle-aged men whinge about millennials? 

It seems you can't switch on the radio in New Zealand these days without a usually white, middle-class, baby-boomer host whining about how self-entitled millennials are, or how they need to harden up, or how easy they have it compared to them. 

I grew up hearing how easy my generation had it compared to the last one. Admittedly, they did fight in a war so had a point. 

And now my generation is moaning about how the next one has it easy. 

Every generation should have it easier than the last one, it's called progress. 

The older generation should be striving to make life a little easier for the next one. 

My grandmother, Helena, one of the most exceptional people I have ever met, was born in Poland. When the Second World War broke out the village she lived in was invaded by the Russians. The men were sent to fight and the women to a salt mine in Siberia. She never saw her father or brothers again. She later escaped the salt mine, made her way to Italy where she got onto a ship coming to England, which was torpedoed and sunk. She lost everything but eventually made it the UK where she built a life that resulted in me being born. 

Growing up, through all my various phases that she must have thought were ridiculous, she never once said to me how easy I had it compared to her. That my generation was soft compared to hers. 

She was just happy she had been able to lay the foundations of a life for me that was considerably easier than hers had been. And that is the way it should be. 

I should disclose here, I am now a white, middle class, middle-aged male who, at times, doesn't understand the younger generation. 

But I am sure they don't want me to understand them, much like I didn't expect my parents to understand why I once cut my hair into a Mohican and dyed it green. 

They didin't understand the music I listened to and though it was just unmelodic noise. I still remember my grandfather's face when he saw Boy George on the TV show Top of the Pops for the first time. 

When he was finally able to speak he gave us a long lecture about how the world was going to hell in a handcart if we let men who looked like women on prime time TV. 

I have three children, I also manage younger millennials and, while I don't always get them, they are not that different from how I was at that age. 

My middle-age self would definitely have struggled to manage me in my 20s. My 20-year-old self would think I had sold out.  

If my kids turn out to be self-entitled snowflakes that will be because of the way I have raised them. 

I actually agree many of the younger generation seem entitled and could do with a few hard life lessons, but that is for them to find out, not for me to constantly tell them. 

Angry baby boomers are now outraged a bunch of school kids want to take time out to protest what is arguably the biggest issue facing their generation - climate change. 

Good on the kids if they feel that strongly about it. 

I remember my father being unhappy I went on a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament march when I was at school. 

We had different opinions about nuclear weapons - the main one being I didn't want to die in a nuclear holocaust. I thought that was a fairly reasonable ambition to take into adulthood, so along with a lot of other kids we took time off school and joined in the march. We didn't achieve unilateral nuclear disarmament, but I got up off my arse and marched about something I believed about.  

They call the younger generation snowflakes and complain they are entitled, but when they stand up on an issue they believe in they moan about that. 

Baby boomers are turning in to Generation M for middle-aged moaners. 

Let the younger generation be, let them make the mistakes we made, let them find their way in the world like we did. They might look back when they are older and cringe at some of the things they did when they were younger, but that is life. We don't need to be banging on about it all the time now. 

Mark Longley is the managing editor of Newshub Digital.