TL;DR: Words still have meaning...really.
The longer I am in the kink/pup scene, the more often I am hearing words like "Master" and "Alpha" being tossed around without any real meaning. I see it almost every day, and it's concerning for me.
I am by no means Old Guard. I buck any kind of authority that tells me how I am allowed to kink, but there are aspects of it that should at least be given some kind of consideration. If we completely lose all meaning in any of the titles and honorifics used, and toss them around to just anyone, is there any real meaning to them at all?
I am guilty of this myself, and don't want to put undue blame on anyone specifically. When I met my pup 3 years ago, I immediately collared him before really knowing what it meant. I immediately let him call me Master before knowing what it really meant. For myself, I wanted a sub and the idea of structure and community didn't mean anything to me. I learned pretty quickly what an anomaly our relationship was, and that it never should have worked. It did, and I'm overjoyed that it did, but there should be serious weight given to the actions and titles we honor someone with.
Since my very early missteps, I've learned to respect relationships and connections far more than I ever did. I have had several pups come to me and ask me to be their Sir/Master/Handler. While I would love to be able to give every stray pup a home, and take on the responsibility of being that for them, I cannot in good conscience devote the time or energy that I truly believe that kind of relationship deserves - not without a really hard look at what I have going on, what they truly want/need, and a substantial consideration period. I too have people that must be taken into account when these opportunities arise. I would never consider taking on another pup without talking to my husband, my Meister, and my pup. I give a lot of weight to all of those titles because they truly mean something to me.
While I don't think this is wholly an issue of age, I think it's largely something that the younger generation of kinksters is lacking in their education - and that's at least partially on the heads of those of us that have been around for awhile. When a pup/sub approaches me now with questions, I feel like it's my responsibility to usher them toward the right path. I know the Old Guard has the same intent, it's just far too structured for me. That being said, I won't allow someone to call me Master/Alpha/etc (which happens a lot). I have not earned that honorific, and we do not have that kind of relationship. As someone that grew up in the south, I happily default to Sir. It's respectful without being presumptive about a relationship.
I think too often people latch onto a title because it sounds like fun, and they want a sense of belonging, without ever putting thought into what it actually means. Are you really an Alpha? Have you given thought into what that means? Does the person calling you Alpha really know what it means?
I put a lot into my relationships, and believe the men in my life have earned the titles they go by. I will continue to do my best to help bring the curious and uninitiated into the fold, while respecting that kink is a very personal thing. I'm just going to hope that with enough of us out there that do respect the titles we use can help educate the rest that toss out titles with every other breath.