Mind the Generation Gap

Spend time with someone from a different generation. This is one of the actions with the We Are What We Do Movement in the U.K. I do this on a daily basis. I hang out with my father, someone who is thirty-four years my senior. The other day, I was listening to music while typing on my computer when he asked, “Can you listen to music on your computer while you’re working on it?” I laughed and responded that yes, I could. It is the year 2012. I have a MacBook Pro. Of course I can listen to music while I type. My dad has been retired for over ten years. He only uses his computer to order equipment for his cows and to check his facebook every three months. He used it more often when I was in Ukraine. That’s how my parents Skyped with me. If he knows how to Skype, wouldn’t you think he’d know about simultaneous word processing and iTunes?

My dad isn’t even the most archaic individual in Yamhill County. My grandfather is worse. He has a computer in his office that he hasn’t touched since my grandma died in 2005. He has a cell phone, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t use picture mail. If you really think about it, should he? I joke about my dad and granddad being stuck in an ancient generation, but then I wonder, does it really matter? Does my dad need to have the newest phone or does he need to understand hashtags on Twitter? I’m pretty sure he doesn’t, and that’s perfectly ok. Some people like to stick to tradition. They like to plow their fields with horses and mules. Green is in right now and I wonder will there one day be a movement to go backwards with technology? Will people begin to agree that it’s better to leave their cell phones at home rather than taking them to the restaurant? Will abstaining from social media become a fad that everyone is doing rather than a failed lent attempt within 13 days when someone finds out she’s pregnant and just has to share? I find it hard to imagine heading backwards with technology. I’m a regular twenty-something with my MacBook and iPhone. I am in touch with social media and keep up with the lives of people I haven’t seen in years. My dad is different. He goes to a reunion without knowing how people’s lives have changed. He can’t see his cousin and ask how that trip to Hawaii was because the pictures looked great. He doesn’t become real friends with an old acquaintance because the two of them just happen to be savvy with social media. He’s old school. His communication is face-to-face and sometimes I think he’s got something there. You can date online and foster your friendships online, but isn’t there a point when all of us have to meet face-to-face?

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One thought on “Mind the Generation Gap

  1. My brother sent me an email response to this and I have to share it. “The answer to your last question is no.” Grumpy people sometimes don’t like to meet face-to-face. 🙂

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