Yes, I do think previous generations went through much the same thing on seeing the young crop come in and not be able to relate to what they went through, but . . . even so . . . this new generation worries me, not because they can’t relate but because the new technology is actually CHANGING them. They seem constantly engaged with social media and in other online activities, so much so that the majority of their lives seems to be spent in places other than the waking world. Maybe that’s not a bad thing. Maybe in the future people will live mostly virtual lives, but it is a giant leap (not necessarily forward) in what it means to be human and is something we should be aware of, even apprehensive of, not dismissive.
There is no easier way to frighten the pants off of anyone over thirty than by telling them anecdotes that make it abundantly clear that they are aging: ‘The Tale Of the Little Girl Who Had No Idea What A VHS Tape Was’, ‘I Handed A Child A Real Photograph And It Tried To Zoom In Using Its Fingers (A True Story)’, ‘What Is The Relation Between A Cassette Tape And A Pencil: A Horror Story In Two Acts’. Thirty-somethings now stand around at parties whispering about the intern at work who only remembers floppy disks because of the ‘save’ icon, and whose childhood memories of ‘Batman’ are of Christian Bale, not Adam West (and this reference will date itself once Ben Affleck takes over the franchise, I’m sure). At those times the generation gap seems more like a chasm, impossible to bridge.
Just as a gramophone or telephone switchboard has…
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