"Back in my day" is a phrase pre-programmed to elicit groans and eye rolls to whoever it's aimed at.
Headlines that pit Boomers against Millennials over house prices, work ethics, smashed avocado on toast and flat whites make for many an amusing office conversation over who has it the easiest.
I'm a Gen-Xer. According to my admittedly brief and cursory research online, my generation (born between 1965 and 1980) is generally characterised as being independent and self-sufficient, the product of being brought up by working parents and being left to our own devices.
I'm of the view there's a new generation of young adults who, on one hand, struggle with lack of experience with conflict, hurt, pain, disappointment and being told 'no', yet, on the other hand, are less afraid of expressing their feelings - which may be difficult for older generations to understand.
This can trigger bouts of nastiness from some "elders" who blame them for not being able to cope in some situations and that is not their fault.
This came to the fore for me this week when British teen and tennis golden girl Emma Raducanu was forced to withdraw from Wimbledon after having breathing difficulties.
She said in a post on social media: "...I was playing the best tennis of my life in front of an amazing crowd this week and I think the whole experience caught up with me."
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
This drew what I believe to be quite nasty responses from Piers Morgan and John McEnroe who inferred she needed to toughen up, "couldn't handle the pressure" and that she quit when "she was losing badly".
These older men have no idea what it was that caused Raducanu to withdraw, yet weighed in anyway.
I also have no idea whether her issue was medical or a result of being mentally or emotionally overwhelmed by the occasion, but to blame her for not being tough enough is out of line.
While I agree with Morgan when he says "mental strength and resilience are not dirty words", to blame Raducanu's withdrawal from the competition for lack of those traits while not knowing the truth is bad form.
I would argue she didn't get to Wimbledon without some degree of "mental strength and resilience".
While it can be harmless for generations to trade good-natured jabs about avos and house prices, the attacks on younger generations for not having the tools to cope are not helpful.