Older Australians get annoyed by people who try to be politically correct. They are also sick of the younger generation’s manners, obsession with technology and punctuality, which they say is ruining society.
That was the verdict from a study commissioned by the Australian Seniors Insurance Agency (ASIA) and carried out by CoreData a global market research consultancy.
Of 1,000 people aged over 50 surveyed by CoreData for ASIA, 88 per cent thought people in modern Australia were too politically correct.
As well, 74 per cent of seniors said people who strived to be politically correct annoyed them, and 45 per cent said they tried to avoid being politically correct just for the sake of it.
And 86 per cent of those surveyed said the drive to be politically correct was ruining society.
Nan Bosler, president of the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association, said seniors found it difficult these days when it came to simple things, such as certain words they used day to day.
“Names we have known things by all our lives, they weren’t there out of disrespect or anything like that, it was just a name we knew things by,” she said.
“And if we have to always modify what we’re saying, it’s a little distracting, it’s a little bit frustrating.
Ms Bosley said too much sensitivity about the meaning of words and phrases acted as a barrier between younger Australians and people aged over 50.
“I think we can just be too politically correct,” she said.
“I suppose it’s for the majority that the minority have to sometimes think well ‘ok, can’t say that anymore, I must remember that’.”
CoreData also surveyed Australians over 50 about their views of millennials, which it defined as Australians aged 19 to 35.
The survey found 85 per cent of older Australians found millennial social etiquette confusing.
Ms Bosley said it worried her when she heard “younger people” in restaurants being rude to staff.
“That’s probably our upbringing — we were respectful to other people, and sometimes young people just don’t do that,” she said.
Respondents aged over 50 also said they were worried about young people spending too much time on their phones and online.
In fact, digital distraction and over-reliance on technology were two of the top five things that those over 50 thought were the biggest social taboos — ranked after racism, smoking and swearing.
Mark Young helps older Australians navigate computers at a computer club in Sydney.
He said older Australians found the digital “distraction” among younger people frustrating.
“The grandkids come round and just spend their time on the phone and looking at that and not talking to them, and they have to kind of butt in in order to get a conversation going,” Mr Young said.
“They don’t like that, they think that’s poorly mannered.”