If you’re familiar with the concept of ageism, then you probably know just how detrimental it can be. Ageism refers to people being discriminated against or stereotyped due to their age. It isn’t completely dissimilar to racism or sexism in that people are being unfairly assessed by others. The term was originally used to refer to older people being discriminated against, but it has come to encompass all types of age discrimination.
The Impact of Ageism
The impact of ageism isn’t just felt by elderly people any longer. Young people are often the victims of ageism, too. You might find young workers being discriminated against in the workplace or being denied opportunities because they’re too young. People unfairly assume things about others based on their ages and this leads to many problems.
You can’t use age to accurately determine whether someone is knowledgeable about a given topic. Someone could be old and have many years of experience while still not knowing as much about a job as someone younger than them. Youth doesn’t necessarily mean that someone will be energetic either as there are older workers out there who can put anyone to shame in that regard. Ageism impacts society because it plays to people’s tendencies to judge people before truly getting to know them.
Stopping ageism is easier said than done because people like to judge others based on appearances and other factors. This doesn’t mean that you have to accept ageism as a fact of life, though. You can do your part to stop ageism by checking yourself when you start stereotyping other individuals. Ageism is just as unacceptable as racism or sexism and it should not be tolerated.
Learn to get to know others before you make assumptions about their personalities or abilities. Avoid discrimination in the workplace and you can start to make things better. Call others out for ageism when you notice them making ageist comments about others. You can start to turn the tide against ageism and hopefully, society as a whole will get on board soon enough.