The Snowflake Generation

Diane Makovic, Co Editor In Chief

We’ve all heard the stories from our grandparents and parents that start with “back in my day.” Typically these stories revolve around the idea that kids today are spoiled and don’t have to deal with the hardships the world had back then. And, as a whole, kids today are more sensitive than ever before.

Kids “today” are being raised in a culture that makes them too sensitive. Helicopter parents are micromanaging the lives and schedules of their children, leaving them unable to make decisions for themselves. In college, no one is going to hover over your shoulder and tell you that you need to do your laundry. At your future job, your boss isn’t going to constantly hold your hand through all your assignments; certain responsibilities will be expected of you. Teaching kids responsibility and independence starts early.

For example, there are many stories from 2014 and 2015 of parents who were arrested for child neglect after letting their children go to the park alone. Specifically, in August 2014, a mother was arrested after leaving her four children ages 6 to 8 to play at the park while she went to a food bank. According to an article on, a police officer said the mother “doesn’t look like she’s mature enough to be a parent.” The park used to be a place of freedom where kids could go and run wild without adults constantly monitoring their every move. In a world where parents are penalized for giving their children the freedom to be kids, kids are growing up oversensitive and dependent.

“Safe spaces” have become more common in colleges across the country. According to Merriam-Webster, safe spaces are defined as a “place (as on a college campus) intended to be free of bias, conflict, criticism, or potentially threatening actions, ideas, or conversations.” Free speech is as limited as it has ever been with students and teachers too anxious to say anything controversial for fear of offending or contradicting anyone else. Teens seem to be unable to face criticism or deal with ideas they disagree with.

In the high school and older setting, emotions run high and no one is told to “use their words” anymore. Instead of discussions and working through conflicts, controversial ideas are banned and avoided. Today’s high schoolers as a whole are less prepared to live on their own in college. Kids who are protected from conflict as children go into college or the workforce hypersensitive and unprepared to solve problems on their own.

The smallest problems appear enormous to the child who has grown up dependent on adults to solve their problems. This lack of risk-taking will prevent success in future careers. With clapping now frowned upon and replaced by “jazz hands” at Oxford University in order to avoid “triggering” people, it’s no wonder the pejorative “snowflake” is used to describe our generation.

To further emphasize upon the idea of sheltering kids from opposing viewpoints, “cancel culture” has had an increasing presence, especially in social media. For reference, “cancel culture” or “call out culture” is the idea that people boycott other people or celebrities who have unpopular ideas. While it may superficially seem like a good idea, “cancel culture” has been abused and overused. Kids today are quick to jump on the bandwagon to judge and “cancel” others, even when they are ignorant about the topic. Anytime someone hears something they don’t like, that person or idea is “cancelled.” What started as a way to call out celebrities for inappropriate behavior turned into immediately turning on others who share unpopular or opposing views.

Kids today don’t know how to deal with altercations or opposing ideas. They are growing up shielded and are told by their parents that they are always right. Without conflict, kids have lost their resilience and are too fragile to take criticism or disappointment. We are raising a generation of oversensitive kids who won’t know how to deal with conflict or opposing ideas.