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05

Monday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele last modified Dec 05, 2023 11:26 AM

The topics with the most engagement yesterday included Millennials feeling abandoned, a deadbeat dad and graduation, feeling uncomfortable because of a lack of commitment, and marrying for lifestyle instead of love.

The most active thread yesterday was titled, "Millennials feel 'abandoned' by parents not available to help raise grandkids: 'Too busy'" and posted in the "General Parenting Discussion" forum. Let me be clear and say that I find everything about this thread to be disappointing. As longtime readers of this blog will know, I hate generational labels. So, of course I am going to dislike a thread that is premised almost entirely on two such labels (Millennials and Boomers). But, beyond that, this is a fake controversy entirely generated as clickbait. Frankly, I don't feel like reading this thread so I am not going to bother. What I will do is discuss the background of this thread and what led to random clickbait ending up as the most active thread on our website. The original poster wrote that "Boomers are too busy and galavanting around on vacations to help their kids and grand kids" and that this is "[a]nother example of boomer selfishness". To support this contention, the original poster provided a link to a Fox News article that basically made the same argument. However, Fox's article was not based on research or surveys or any sort of data that would support this claim. Rather, Fox based its article on an article published by Business Insider. Business Insider, in turn, offers no real data to support this contention, simply writing this "appears to be typical". Everything in the Business Insider article is based on a couple of anecdotes. A Boomer father who retired to Mexico is presented as a common example of Boomer parents. Moreover, that father actually complained that his children have programmed his grandchildren's lifes to such an extent that they have no time for him anyway. With minimal editing, this article could have been written with the entirely opposite premise, saying that children of Millennials are too busy and have no time for their Boomer grandparents. That would not have made this a better article, but it wouldn't have made it worse. It is simply not a very good article. The "trend" that it describes is entirely limited to a small subset of a small subset of a generation of grandparents. That's not a trend, it's an anomaly.

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