Jonathan Lee/High Tech Middle North County/9th Grade
As a teen or an adult, what comes into mind when you think of the other group? Close-minded adults with bad advice? Snooty kids with occasional mood swings? Stereotypes aside, these two generations are separated by technology, societal norms, and ways of life. You‘ve probably heard the term “Millenial” before, a word used to label the generation of people born from 1981 to 1996. Between people who lived in the turbulent 1900s and those who were born in the late 1900s to the 2000s, there is a considerable lack of connection due to the experiences of the older generation and the independence of the newer one.
The 1900s were crazy. Many good revelations were made, but many bad things happened as well. World War 1 was the beginning of a new era of war; World War 2 changed the world forever; with communism on the rise, the chaos wasn’t over yet. Two main ideologies were trying to establish power. This spawned several arduous wars, such as that of the Vietnam War, which were efforts made by Western powers to purge the country of Marxism and its branches.
As such, many people in the late 1900s developed a negative mindset towards communism and the related countries. According to a survey, 70% of people aged 55-64 years were unfavorable towards Socialism. However, 58% of people aged 18-24 years were favorable towards Socialism; thus, the generation gap wades into political territory as well, with today‘s youth being more liberal.
Younger people have access to technology that reduces the time it takes to diffuse ideas and opinions; and in turn, those ideas can evolve faster than ever. Recently, the world has been getting extremely progressive. As more and more countries transition into a quaternary-sector based economy, the demand for employees with degrees increase. Where are degrees obtained? At colleges and universities, which are infamous for being an extremely liberal environment. Especially on a college campus, it is thought that being a liberal is a sign of intellect. It might be possible that because of this, along with the absence of the mindsets that plague the older generation, the younger generation is free to push the boundaries of politics and social norms. On the other hand, the older generation knows what works and what doesn’t. People have many ideas in their youth, but many of them haven‘t faced the real world yet, and they probably won’t see anything like the hardships throughout the 1900s. Yes, ideas should be explored, but maybe we as a society should keep what works and avoid getting too carried away with our newfound advantages.
We may never know which path is the best, but steps are being made in order to patch the generation gap. Naturally, more and more people will be fluent with technology as it becomes more mainstream within people‘s lifestyles and childhoods. Because modern technology has never been seen in history, many people will be fluent with it, while others - mostly those who grew up without computers and cell phones - are left behind. Efforts to familiarize modern tech with the older generation are starting to become more common, mostly due to the global digitalization of information, making it very hard to live without knowledge of technology.
The current digital age is all about speed and precision. With modern tech, people can truly access and share information in an instant. The world will never be the same, so people might as well embrace it.
<Jonathan Lee/High Tech Middle North County/9th Grade