Ageism is stereotyping of and discrimination against individuals or groups on the basis of their age. This may be casual or systematic.(Wikipedia)
When I say the word ageism, what comes to most minds is the discrimination against "elderly people" based on their age but I am here to voice how ageism affects young people.
Enough of the grammar... Let me out myself here.
Yesterday on my whatsapp status, I joked about how fast I can make someone who I don't want to have a conversation with, lose interest in talking to me simply by telling them my age. I have a bad habit of just not wanting to talk to new people sometimes and I have done the age trick a couple of times as an escape. Trust me, it works!
Especially in conversations with older people, more particularly older men, I have realized that there is something in being a teenager or being a little over the teenage age that turns them off, even if they are just 3 years older. Note, this has nothing to do with avoiding being a pedophile, I'm talking on plain grounds here. I think that some adults feel too proud of themselves to talk to some young people despite the possibility that the younger person may have more knowledge about what is being discussed.
Lets start with the stereotypes. I find it highly insulting that some older people think all that many teenagers are, is a bunch of trouble making, sexually curious, social media sinking, and anger brewing hormones that are up to no good. And so, when these minionish creations make decisions, they are not encouraged to act as much because there is that barrier in the perception of their behavior based on their age. I realize that if I started every conversation for an opportunity by telling people my age while introducing myself, I would not have achieved half as much as I have achieved by this date.
After several experiences where people stop talking to me once they knew my age, I decided to stop telling people my age until I have allowed them to see the fullness of my abilities. I am fortunate enough to look and know how to act older than I am, so I usually slide by, easily. I have benefited more when I stayed in the midst of adults who I did not have to tell my age. I have also grown fast mentally and emotionally because the adults that I surround myself with and call my friends, who know my age, treat me with expectations rather than limitations based on my age. I treat them with respect and under no circumstance do they treat me with less respect because of my age.
In addition, I find it great but problematic when we treat young people who act to the fullest of their ability as some sort of revolutionary characters. Yes, there is the glory in being a revolutionary character but it is highly problematic that there is a barrier of age to be broken, to prove a point.
Plus, its funny to me how there is this sudden set of duties to be fulfilled once you clock a certain age. For example saying to someone "Oh! You are 21, you can now drink" when as at the age of 20.99999 you told the person that they should close their eyes if they smell alcohol a mile away. This is a bad example because age limit is beneficial in certain situations, but I hope that you get the point. Don't expect that young people will suddenly jump into doing something or stop doing something because of a slight change in a number when there is no change in the mental readiness or their psychological ability to go into the next step. Same applies in the case of romantic relationships. I'll rather that we set expectations for people based on the quality of who they are becoming not the quantity of their age. Also, it would be great if we can celebrate maturity as much as we celebrate age.
So what exactly am I saying...
I do not dispute the fact that age is beneficial in psychological or even medical evaluation or categorization. What I do not like is how many adults treat young fellows below their ability and potential because of the limited mindset or perspective of their being, based on their age. Age is not a limitation and I think that some adults can do better in the way they treat younger people.