Bitter Old People Get Their Kicks Reading Bad Things About Whippersnappers


People over 50 prefer reading negative news about young people, though they are indifferent when the news is about people their own age, according to a new study. So, go call your twisted parents and grandparents, and tell them the plight of the youngs is no laughing matter!

Worse yet, old folks actually felt a self-esteem boost after reading the youth-trashing stories, according to the L.A. Times. We assume it’s the same rush they feel when they yell, “Get off my lawn!” (Kidding, Runnin’ Scared loves our self-professed “older” readers.)

The study included 178 people aged 18 to 30 and 98 people aged 50 to 65. Here’s how it worked:

All the adults in the study were shown what they were led to believe was a test version of a new online news magazine. They were also given a limited time to look over either a negative and positive version of 10 pre-selected articles.

Each story was also paired with a photograph depicting someone of either the younger or the older age group.

The researchers found that older people were more likely to choose to read negative articles about those younger than themselves. They also tended to show less interest in articles about older people, whether negative or positive.

“Living in a youth centered culture, they may appreciate a boost in self-esteem. That’s why they prefer the negative stories about younger people, who are seen as having a higher status in our society,” Dr. Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, of Ohio State University told Reuters. Man, that almost makes us feel bad for old people, but not as bad as we feel for the young people, the objects of their ill-willed fascination!

Young people, true to form, didn’t really care about reading stories involving old people, but preferred positive stories about their peers. So narcissistic, us millennials!

The study, published by the Journal of Communication, was conducted in Germany, but the researcher believes that nationality is not a factor, meaning youth-dissing old people are all over the planet. Watch your back, twentysomethings.

via the L.A. Times and Reuters