Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Generation Gap

After watching Frontline's program on Digital Nation, I found myself understanding what this generation gap really means.

For years, I heard the expression and thought it was the difference between parents and children. For boomers, it was a generation of long hair vs short hair, questioning authority and free love. Although few were true "hippies", the boomer generation stood up to government in a way that had not been done since the Civil War. We questioned everything from the war in Vietnam to segregation and women's rights. We did not have the benefit of social media, Facebook, Twittering or going viral with our protests. We used cardboard signs, chanted and had sit ins.

The generation we see unfolding before us is one of nimble fingers and wired brains. We complain that they spend too much time in front of a computer screen or texting to their BFF. While we are trying to adapt to technology, it is all they have ever known.

We worked in grass roots movements, their greener grass comes with wireless connections to communicate and function. Army recruiters are using video games to engage the next generation of soldiers whose technology skills will be essential. Teachers are using games to engage students on whole new levels of learning and comprehension.

Would we have wanted Ford to not build cars? Should Neil Armstrong not have walked on the moon? Should Thomas Edison have left us in the dark?

It is a necessary evolution of young minds and bodies to gravitate toward what they know and to excel beyond our generation's wildest dreams. with new discoveries and innovations from the touch of a screen or the dexterity of the hand. That's what a wise grandma would tweet about.

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