If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Washington Post)   It's been at least a day or two since you've read about a bullshiat trend made up by a newspaper to fill column inches, right? Pining for one? Okay, here you go: American youth don't want cars anymore, they want web mobility   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 55
    More: Stupid, column inches, Pontiac GTO, personal mobility  
•       •       •

2351 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 May 2012 at 11:34 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



55 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2012-05-22 08:26:19 AM  
lh6.googleusercontent.com

/does not approve
 
2012-05-22 08:50:18 AM  
Could Being Mean To Your Kids Make Them Love Cars?
When I was talking with those Scion folks a while back, they mentioned something which caught my attention like a Pomeranian on an unattended hot dog. They said interest in cars is waning among young people, and teens are waiting longer to get their licenses. And one of the reasons is that kids are getting along with their parents better than ever.

This sounded strange to me until I thought back to myself at 15, saving my $600 from my after school job selling and installing Apple IIs to buy that first Wrigley's-gum-beige colored '68 Beetle. And a major motivator to buy that car was for the sublime joy of getting the fark out of the house. I loved my parents, of course, but there's something about the din of a Bronx-originated Jewish family (the airport often called to ask us to keep it down) that made the concept of being anywhere the hell else wildly appealing.

I decided to check on the numbers for myself, and contacted the Federal Highway Administration, who kindly provided me with the numbers of drivers aged 19 and under going back to 1994. Sure enough, the number is dropping. It's had peaks (1998, 2008) but we're now in a very clear downward trend, falling by about 400,000 since 2008.

I'm pretty confident Scion's done lots of research on this, since up until quite recently, Scion has considered themselves Toyota's youth brand (they now say they're the "experimental" marque, which sounds more fun to me). The real issue seems to be that the relationships between parents and kids are generally so good, the kids just aren't feeling the crazed desire to get out of the house like previous generations did. Parents are also generally more protective, meaning that it's increasingly hard for a teen to get a car of their own. The $500 deathtraps me and all my friends drove are becoming a dying breed. Anything considered safe enough is far more expensive.

Scion also blamed social media, suggesting that today's youth are in such constant contact with one another that the need for physical travel has diminished. This one I'm more skeptical of, at least until truly effective third-base activities can be achieved over WiFi.

On the surface, what's to biatch about here? Kids are getting along with their parents, safer cars are available, what's the harm? The harm is that cars, for all their issues, can be amazing things. They can spawn friendships and stimulate creativity and develop skills and so many other things. They form the core of what was once a vibrant subculture, and this is in danger if a new generation of kids never gets to realize how much they can get out of an interest in cars.

So, for the sake of your children, be an asshole sometimes. Stop being so farking understanding and cool; tell the little bastards they'll never amount to anything, they're huge disappointments, and, if you're really feeling it, that you wish you never had them. They'll thank you when they peel out of the driveway in a rage, the loud thrum of a revving engine and the smell of burning rubber helping to turn them into independent, interesting adults.


Proving kids today are soft because their parents are soft.
 
2012-05-22 09:08:28 AM  
They want to be blessed with a bucket of lucky mobility.
 
2012-05-22 10:22:49 AM  
A) Kids still need cars to hang out with their friends on demand, but they already talk online for 49 hours a day, so there's less demand
B) They still want their own cars, dipshiat
 
2012-05-22 11:36:20 AM  
Old news is old. This trend is so two weeks ago.
 
2012-05-22 11:36:32 AM  
Would be fine with me, cuz I could get a pretty sweet broadband connection for less than the insurance hike of adding an adolescent driver to my policy.
 
2012-05-22 11:38:15 AM  
$200/mo for insurance and payments on shiatty beater + $5/gal gas = freedom?

Maybe this generation isn't as dumb as we think if they turn down that particular 'freedom'
 
2012-05-22 11:41:17 AM  
Except for my 16 year old that would throw his iphone away in second for a car.

/He added a little over $100 a month destrip and that's with a good grade discount.
 
2012-05-22 11:42:27 AM  
Things are different now from the way they used to be! This is bad because...um... fallacy of tradition!
 
2012-05-22 11:43:26 AM  
i45.tinypic.com

What web mobility might look like.
 
2012-05-22 11:44:26 AM  
I was going to defend the newspaper and argue that they don't just make this stuff up, but I could be wrong in this case. I hardly think the reason is the proliferation of social media on a mobile device, even the article says: "...And the meeting place of social cyberspace means there's a lot less need to go anywhere to commune with friends" -so if they don't need to go anywhere, why the need for mobile web ability? I would think high gas prices, high insurance costs and driving restrictions are the key here.
 
2012-05-22 11:45:18 AM  
News writer is a dumbass. Playing a video from a hard drive is not "streaming."
 
2012-05-22 11:45:51 AM  
Anecdotally this rings true to me, I have nieces and nephews that are of drivin age , the boys rushed out to get their licence and cars but the girls don't seem to give a shiat.
 
2012-05-22 11:46:03 AM  
I hear the new trend is for teens to shave one half of their heads and lacquer the other half with polyurethane. If you shave the left half you're a "gurlackie" and if you shave the right you're a "narthersturn". I understand the streets will be filled with rioting gurlackies and narthersturns in the very near future. YHIHF.
 
2012-05-22 11:46:09 AM  
Interesting. I read a posted FARK article about how the facebook generation will not be buying lots of things in the future. The list included cars, TVs, email, beer (BULLSHIAT), cigs, landline phones, and desktop computers.

Fine. less traffic, more beer and smokes, and lots of cheap Intel CPUs for me!

Pops to article

I was going to post a pic of beer and cigs, but google was kind enough to provide this photo.
img4.uploadhouse.com
 
2012-05-22 11:46:27 AM  
My nephews, 17 & 19 y/o, have never expressed any interest in getting their drivers licenses. It's just weird. The older one is a college freshman living on campus, and his mother picks him up every weekend. The younger one is going to go to a local uni and live at home. He figures he'll get his DL this summer so he can get to/from class, but doesn't really want to.

It boggles the mind. Everyone I grew up with had their DL within 4-6 months of their 16th birthday.
 
2012-05-22 11:47:19 AM  
This is true, and I'm fine with it.

My daughter has her permit, and a car, but is not eager to drive at all. None of her friends are, either.

They communicate all day, voice, video, playing games, etc.

In MY DAY, we had to walk 5 blocks just to knock on the door because the only phone in the house (theirs or ours) was busy.

I was just telling her that she has no idea how much the world has changed since I was a kid. I'm fine with this. When I was 17 with a car, I was drinking, smoking, chasing tail, hanging out, hiding from work, and getting into trouble like making HER. I can't imagine her doing what I did, I can but won't. My worst worry now is making sure she gets exercise and cleans up her room.

God, I'm getting old.
 
2012-05-22 11:47:30 AM  
I'm on the outer reaches of what passes for youth these days, but I'd love to be able to get by without my car. Gas is farking expensive, there's always the looming possibility of a major repair (not to mention the tires are expensive as fark), and while the plates are dirt cheap by now and the insurance isn't nearly as bad as it used to be I could still think of other things I'd much rather spend that money on.

Of course when I was 17 there was nothing I wanted more than a brand new Trans Am. Metallic blue, with the t-tops. It was only 3 grand more than the car I ended up getting, but the insurance would have eaten me alive.
 
2012-05-22 11:47:38 AM  
As long as people keep clicking links, writers will keep trolling.
 
2012-05-22 11:48:59 AM  
Oh thank GOD for you, subby.

I was stuck looking at old "trending" tweets!
 
2012-05-22 11:50:37 AM  
A "389-cubic-inch overhead-cam V-8"?
There was never such a thing in an american car.
Writer is an idiot from sentence one.
 
2012-05-22 11:51:02 AM  
I'm trying to remember if I was more excited about my family getting broadband, or my $89 minivan (2006 money). I know these days I'd pick the car.
 
2012-05-22 11:51:44 AM  
numbers of drivers aged 19 and under

Aren't more and more states raising the age when you get your license?
 
2012-05-22 11:53:29 AM  

destrip: News writer is a dumbass. Playing a video from a hard drive is not "streaming."


And he's equally a Dumas about cars: The 389 was a pushrod motor, not OHC.

/Not that I'd expect any actual car facts from the WaPo.
 
2012-05-22 11:54:40 AM  

Craptastic: My nephews, 17 & 19 y/o, have never expressed any interest in getting their drivers licenses. It's just weird. The older one is a college freshman living on campus, and his mother picks him up every weekend. The younger one is going to go to a local uni and live at home. He figures he'll get his DL this summer so he can get to/from class, but doesn't really want to.

It boggles the mind. Everyone I grew up with had their DL within 4-6 months of their 16th birthday.


Makes perfect sense.

My parents never drove me anywhere. I biked everywhere.

Today's kids are not allowed to ride bikes to the mall and are chauffeured every where by helicopter parents.
 
2012-05-22 11:58:54 AM  
I actually have to agree with this. My 15 year old son got his permit and he has to put in 50 hours in order to get his license (Illinois). He has no desire at all to drive. I'm going to MAKE him drive around when we spend a 1.5 months in central Michigan this summer (no cars on the road there)! In his defense, we do live within walking distance of school and he does go outdoors frequently (biking and running).
 
2012-05-22 12:01:15 PM  
The SO and I haven't had a vehicle of our own in years. We use Zipcar and Amtrak to get around.

If someone tells you they "need" a car to do anything, that's just a red flag for their high maintenance.
 
2012-05-22 12:06:00 PM  

The My Little Pony Killer: The SO and I haven't had a vehicle of our own in years. We use Zipcar and Amtrak to get around.

If someone tells you they "need" a car to do anything, that's just a red flag for their high maintenance.


or they don't live in an urban area with zipcars and rail service...
 
2012-05-22 12:11:01 PM  

The My Little Pony Killer: The SO and I haven't had a vehicle of our own in years. We use Zipcar and Amtrak to get around.

If someone tells you they "need" a car to do anything, that's just a red flag for their high maintenance.


I need a car to get to pretty much do anything. Not all cities have great public transportation. I mean I could walk a mile to the bus stop, then take a circuitous hour long ride to work, or I could drive five minutes. And riding a bike 5 miles in the 114 degree heat is not a viable option.

And Amtrak sucks donkey balls. No thanks, I don't want to spend twice as much and take twice as long to get somewhere. Not to mention it doesn't go anywhere I ever want to go, not from here at least. Your sweeping generalization is not accurate.
 
2012-05-22 12:12:49 PM  
I paid $100 for my first car the week I turned 16.

The modivation was simple. Girls were *out there*, and being able to text "When U gonna let me hit that?" didn't exist.
 
2012-05-22 12:27:16 PM  

Headso: The My Little Pony Killer: The SO and I haven't had a vehicle of our own in years. We use Zipcar and Amtrak to get around.

If someone tells you they "need" a car to do anything, that's just a red flag for their high maintenance.

or they don't live in an urban area with zipcars and rail service...


Or they have kid(s). I am curious about this article as I read it this morning in the WaPo Express on Le Metro. So I'm a-wondering:

a) are they not getting licensed at 16 like they used to?
b) are they simply not buying cars because they have zip-car/pubic transit options?
c) are they waiting longer to get married/have children so they don't need the car?
d) are they just completely farked up and live at home with mom & dad chauffering them around until they're 24?
e) is the cost of owning (purchase price + gas + insurance) that much higher now for the money kids can earn than it was 30 years ago?

When I was a kid you went to the DMV on your 16th birthday or as soon after as possible and took The Test. Then you worked and saved and bought the Family Truckster when mom & dad decided it was time for a new car, or you bought some old use beater. The rich kids where I lived just were given the old Family Truckster when they turned 16 and ma & pa moneybags bought new since it just made sense to have another operational driver in the household. Of course, there was very limited public transit where I grew up. We'd take BART into Berkeley or San Francisco only because parking was such a pain in the ass if you drove there.
 
2012-05-22 12:35:06 PM  
Oh yeah, kids totally want to spend money on car payments, insurance, maintenance, fuel, cleanings, parking, theft, damage, breakdowns when they could be spending that money on food, beer and a good apartment.
 
2012-05-22 12:43:06 PM  
I'm the oldest grandchild in my family, so I have a plethora of teenaged cousins. Most of them weren't in a rush to get their licenses. One of my cousins (18 years old), who graduates high school this week, has a driver's permit but no license. Driving just isn't all that important to her.

Two of my cousins (currently ages 19 and 21) got their licenses at 17 or so, but they also live in a rural area with no traffic congestion and cheap gasoline.
 
2012-05-22 12:46:54 PM  

thurstonxhowell: numbers of drivers aged 19 and under

Aren't more and more states raising the age when you get your license?


I know Arkansas raised the DL age from 16 to 18. I'm betting that enough states have done so and are skewing the historical comparison.
 
2012-05-22 01:00:47 PM  
Kids obviously don;t want to go anywhere beyond the heliparents reach.
 
2012-05-22 01:04:15 PM  
I am glad I came of age when cars and gas was affordable. I drove around in a 1957 Chevy Bel-Air convertible that cost me $1000, drove for 10 years and later sold, and gasoline was affordable - $4.50 filled the car up.

We had access to decent cars for cheap money - '67 Camaros, VW bugs that were had for $200 all day long, Dodge Chargers that went for $500 etc and so fourth.

Then in the 80s, after gas was an obscene $1.20 a gallon, I was paying 69 cents a gallon for leaded regular 89 and driving a VW Bug as a commuter car...no way that you can even fit more than $8 worth of gas in it.

Nowadays, cars and gas is so expensive, it is amazing that kids today can afford to even fill them up...and today's cars are so BOOORRRRING...and now you have EPA etc that stop you from doing engine mods to them...in my day we could do (and we did) anything we wanted to the engines without government intervention...those days are over and today"s kids cannot do what we did...sorry to say.

Again, glad to have been around when we had cool cheap cars and cheap gas.
 
2012-05-22 01:13:12 PM  
A better guess as to why is:

-Gas prices
-Vehicle prices
-Insurance prices
-Historically high teenage unemployment
 
2012-05-22 01:27:40 PM  

Rapmaster2000: Things are different now from the way they used to be! This is bad because...um... fallacy of tradition!


The Appeal to Tradition isn't as good as it was when I was a kid.
 
2012-05-22 01:28:07 PM  

HellRaisingHoosier: A better guess as to why is:

-Gas prices
-Vehicle prices
-Insurance prices
-Historically high teenage unemployment


Also fewer teenagers.
 
2012-05-22 01:28:19 PM  

Frizbone: and now you have EPA etc that stop you from doing engine mods to them...in my day we could do (and we did) anything we wanted to the engines without government intervention...


I know, being able to breathe in urban areas is soooooo overrated.
 
2012-05-22 01:28:55 PM  
This is not a bullshiat trend... i know many kids around 18-20 range that don't drive and dont want to... its farked up.. when i was a kid my car was my freedom..
 
2012-05-22 01:37:53 PM  

child_god:

In MY DAY, we had to walk 5 blocks just to knock on the door because the only phone in the house (theirs or ours) was busy.


In my day we had to walk 8 miles into town to send a message by telegraph. Every now and again, I would get lucky and get to take the wagon when ma needed supplies. But that was only about once a month, as it was only dry goods she ever needed, and a bottle of opiates from time to time. Problem was with the telegraph, we would never get a response right away, and I'd have to make that trip back into town to check for my message a couple of days later. RIght when I finished my formal education (5th grade), the first telephones made it into town. Now mind you, these were not yet connected to any other towns, so we were still dependent on the telegraph for the most part. Of course only 2 families could afford such excess as a telephone, so conversations only took place between the Edwards family and the Stoddard family. Not including Sara, who operated the switching equipment, and was known to have listened in most connections between the two phones. The Edwards and the Stoddards only lived a half mile apart, and ma used to say that they probably could have yelled at each other from their front porches, and heard each other better then using that wired contraption. I still thought those telephones we pretty special, and would go vist the Edwards girl once a week to just catch a glimpse of it mounted on the wall of the kitchen. I'd grab an onion from the pantry and fasten it to my belt, because that was the style at the time, and holler at my ma "I'm off to court the Edwards girl".
 
2012-05-22 02:03:02 PM  

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: But that was only about once a month, as it was only dry goods she ever needed, and a bottle of opiates from time to time.


Did she prefer Lydia Pinkham's Gentle Helpmeet or was she more of a Claude Overstreet's Mellifluent Elixir for Mothers woman?
 
2012-05-22 02:04:25 PM  
My 19 year old still has no driver's license. She drives occasionally to scare herself, but does not want to take it seriously. I explained to her that she could buy a brand new bicycle every two weeks and still be ahead; she took me to heart. Now every couple of weeks to a month the local charity gets a bike donated.

/9 miles, uphill both ways in the snow, with only one shoe
 
2012-05-22 03:25:41 PM  
It seemed like there were less teenagers crashing into things lately.
 
2012-05-22 03:37:44 PM  
My first car was a used 1964 Ford Falcon. Basically, a single line 6, automatic transmission and powered nothing. (Meaning - no power brakes, steering, windows or a/c.) It maxed out at 92 mph. No stereo. AM radio only. Still, I was in High School and it had 4 wheels, an engine and seats.

The school parking lot was usually full of old cars in various stages of being customized, painted, fixed or being admired by motor heads. Very rarely did you spot a new or nearly new car. The auto shop class was quite popular.

My next car -- and, as far as I'm concerned -- my ONLY REAL car, was a 1967 Pontiac GTO. 450 V-8. Power steering, power brakes, a/c, AM/FM radio and one of those new things called a stereo cassette player. It maxed out at somewhere over 125 mph.

It was my love.

I sunk a lot of time and money into customizing that thing.

It got 8 mpg -- which was considered average. It had a 25 gal gas tank. Gas was roughly 25 cents a gallon. It was the early 70's and a decent living wage was between $6000 and $10,000 a year.

There were also plenty of little used, open roads in the area, the local population was only a quarter of what it is today and most of us could do our own car repairs at home. The engines were big, but familiar and the cars were rear wheel drive.

I could do a tune-up in the front yard for $25 in parts. I could change my own brakes, remove, repack and replace the wheel bearings, change my own oil and fiddle with the huge quadrajet carburetor. I even had the car custom painted -- a nice metallic blue with the then new Epoxy Paint. Then, with a friend, applied racing stripes. I poked on side pipes, hood pins, chrome rims and rear air shocks.

When a drunk backed into my door, I went down to a junkyard and bought a replacement and put it on.

You didn't see 'Low-boys' cruising around, nor cars that hopped, bounced or jumped. The sound systems did not cost more than the car and even the best could not make enough noise to be heard two blocks away.

Today, I wouldn't be able to do more than drive the car now and then because of the cost of gas, insurance and people infesting every freakin' road in the county like ants after honey. A speeding ticket back then would have cost me maybe $25 to $50. Now they start at $100.

I can't tune up my 'modern car' because it has a computer. I'm not even sure if it has a carburetor, since it's fuel injected. It's front wheel drive and everything is so crammed under the hood that changing spark plugs is a chore.

In 1971 you could buy a new Ford Maverick for $1999.00. A similar car today starts at around $8000.00

Gas is hovering between $3.50 and $4.00 a gallon. That $25 tune-up can't be done at home. Instead you get to pay about $200 in a shop. Adjusting your timing, maybe rotating the distributor to make your car faster can't be done in your yard anymore.

There's computer chips that controls all that and mechanics have this electronic thing they like to charge high prices to hook them up to. Or to replace the not exactly cheap chips.

It's got a 'check engine' light that likes to pop on, demanding I run the thing into a shop. Usually, the problem is minor, like removing a defective sensor that I really didn't need and the part alone would cost around $90. I still had to fork over nearly $100 for the shop guy to tell me this -- and offer to disconnect the 'check engine' light.

Now, this car is big and powerful, with a 6 cylinder engine. Aside from my having to add a bit of a/c gas once a year, it's in excellent shape.

However, it costs nearly as much to run as the GTO did and with the GTO I basically drove with my foot in the carburetor so I was forever replacing things -- like brakes, tires, mufflers, -- engine.

So, with things as they are today, maybe kids don't want to go into debt over a car. I had a fender bender with the Ford Falcon. My Dad and I pulled the chrome bumper off and he straightened it with a sledge hammer. I pounded out and then filled in the dented fender and painted it with a spray can. Total cost? $30.

Same accident today? $1200 and up. Cracked a 'bumper cover' on a previous car and that cost $350 just to get and refit this plastic thing that is worthless for protection.

"Crush Zones" may save your life but a mild fender bender can total your car.

Oh, yeah. There are no 'beaters' in the school parking lot these days. No Cars Under Construction. Nothing held together by bondo and bailing wire. All new or nearly new. I don't even know if they still have Auto Shop.
 
2012-05-22 04:14:30 PM  
Why would anyone planning for college want a car? It is one more loan with interest payments, that depreciates the moment you drive off the lot.

The internet, on the other hand, means employment can happen anywhere.

The kids today are smart.
 
2012-05-22 04:15:43 PM  
The older cars were much easier to maintain and repair...that is for sure. I replaced the water pump on my inline-six powered Chevy II Nova (GM's version of the Ford Falcon) in...20 minutes start to clean-up. This being a car where there is no such thing as a check engine light problem, no computer to contend with and a tune-up was done with simple hand tools and a timing light...done in a 1/2 hour or so. My Nova with a six achieves 23 mpg...not bad for for what the car is - a simple, basic, no-nonsense car that was made for the do-it-yourselfer in mind, and it moves along reliably - a nice, nimble compact car that carries 6 in relative comfort.

Regarding gas prices - in 1987 (25 years ago), one hour of a 17 year old's minimum wage ($3.35/hr) bought him 4.7 gallons of gas. Today's minimum wage ($7.25 an hour) buys what...2 gallons if you're lucky. Yep...purchasing power was much better for driving in the Good Old days...more so back in my day.
 
2012-05-22 05:40:59 PM  

Bennie Crabtree: Why would anyone planning for college want a car? It is one more loan with interest payments, that depreciates the moment you drive off the lot.

The internet, on the other hand, means employment can happen anywhere.

The kids today are smart.


This just in.... some cars are not new, and not expensive.

Plus, how do you take the slampiece home without a ride?
 
2012-05-22 06:21:30 PM  
My 17 yr old has no interest in a car or license; he plans to go to college out of state and live on campus, and he really wants to relocate to a large city with good public transit. Meantime, he relies on mom's taxi service.

My 16 yr old, however, has been learning to drive since he was 11. Utterly car-crazy; "drive time" was the one way to reward or punish him. Fortunately, we live in a suburban area, with a couple ideal driving spots- there's an abandoned neighborhood nearby, that I used to take him to and let him practice in. Between that and various parking lots, he had lots of safe practice before he even got his permit.

Since the permit, I've been letting him drive me pretty much everywhere; he's finished logging his hours and will go for the test the week after school lets out. At which time, he'll be legal and legit- and I'll really start worrying. He's been a great driver so far, but always with Mom right next to him in the front seat. I'm a little worried about how he'll behave when he's on his own with the car. But he at least knows how to take care of it- he can change the oil and do basic repair and maintenance.
 
Displayed 50 of 55 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report