In a survey of modern industrialised economies, it seems our kids are the least happy with life; despite living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
That really comes as no surprise to me at all. I suspect though, if they widened the remit of the survey they'd also discover that most British people are generally unsatisfied with their lot.
But focusing on our kids...I've got a good idea why they're all surly and depressed. And it's got a lot to do with wealth. See, in the UK, we are mostly quite pampered. I think something like 90% of kids over the age of ten now have a mobile phone. I don't know how many have a TV, a DVD player and at least one console in their room, but I'm guessing the percentage is quite high.
Sadly though, our kids live in a country where either they're driven from friend's-playover to after-school-activity by terrified SUV-driving parents, whipped into a fever of peedo paranoia by the media, or...they're totally ignored and rejected by chav mums and dads who are way too busy watching trash TV.
They've got the latest mobiles and Sportswear accessories, but no freedom.
But worse still, our kids are being bombarded - like radiation - by subtle (and not so subtle) media messages specifically designed to make them feel crap about themselves (unless, of course, they go and buy product XYZ).
Seriously. I'd like to start a class action and sue the hell out of the media for making our kids despondent, depressed consumer clones, who, no matter how much they have in their bedroom, need only pass a street billboard, a TV set or recieve an unsolicited text to find out how little they have in comparison to 'all the other re-e-e-al co-o-o-o-o-l kids'.
If you've got a moment, why don't you take a look at the adverts on Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon? Or skim through a copy of some teeny mag next time you're in a newsagents? Or, if you want aspirational radiation therapy at it's worse - check out one of the music video channels.
I look at our kids and really worry. And you know, I'm not dissing them.
The people I save my venom for are people my own age; the creative execs and degree-holding middle-class media muppets who are responsible for peddling this insipid me-me-me poison. You know, I once toyed with the idea of breaking into marketing/advertising, back when I was much younger.
I'm so glad now I have a kid of my own, that I didn't chose to go over to the dark side. Hell...maybe I should have, and tried to affect change from within.
Nah. I could see my 'Don't Buy Nike...they're over-priced and won't actually make you any happier' campaign not really going down too well with my hypothetical employer.