Kids often have different views and opinions than their parents and they're OK with it. Usually. But when dads and moms start openly disrespecting the coronavirus in front of their sons and daughters, it's game time. Which, in social distancing terms, means shaming them online.
That's right, social media has been receiving an increasing number of complaints against boomer parents. And they are really valid as well. I mean, some are saying that COVID-19 isn't real and is just a conspiracy, and others are even mocking the virus by throwing it parties... They say you can't change who your parents are, just the way you choose to deal with them. But is there really no chance?
I know all of this may sound strange at first. As Te-Erika Patterson pointed out, it is widely believed that children will imitate their parents’ behaviors and attitudes, consciously or not. The 1961 Bobo Doll experiment, conducted by Stanford professor Albert Bandura, for example, showed that children will interact with others in the precise manner that was modeled for them by adults. Understanding the responsibility that comes with it, many parents try to make their kids become carbon copies of themselves, or grow up to be the people they wish they were themselves.
But a 2014 study, based on data from the U.S. and U.K., found that parents who are insistent that their children adopt their political views inadvertently influence their children to abandon the belief once they become adults. Think of it like this: children who come from homes where politics is frequently discussed are more likely to talk about politics once they leave home, exposing them to new viewpoints—which they then adopt with surprising frequency.
I guess most of us can agree that the conversation we're having about the coronavirus has rapidly become politicized. "As the coronavirus now emerges as another front in the culture war, social distancing has come to be viewed in some quarters as a political act — a way to signal which side you’re on," McKay Coppins wrote in The Atlantic. So maybe these online shamings aren't just related to public health? Maybe these kids are detaching themselves from their parents' views as the nation is getting ready to choose its leader?
Not necessarily. Writer and tsunami scientist Kaya Wilson, for example, tweeted that he had to tell his 70-year-old mom people are calling this pandemic the 'Boomer Remover' before he could convince her to cancel all of her boomer cluster activities.
"My mom has been pretty good since then," he told Bored Panda. "She just took a bit longer to take it seriously. She's in the UK, I'm in Australia and I'm much more online than she is. I'm also a scientist."
But Kaya and his mom have similar views when it comes to politics. "She lives alone and is now very active, doing sketch club and yoga on Zoom, walking with her friends, etc. She's formed a bubble with her neighbor and plays tennis with her grandkid. The older grandkids help drop off groceries etc. Once she realized getting coronavirus would be a very lonely experience, she took precautions."