…or just not worth your while listening to the end…
It has made me think though. Not in a flamboyant motivational-speaker kind of way, just in a “hey, stop and listen to this, this guy’s saying something” kind of way.
Personally, I hate the phrase “the generation gap”. Ok, I know what people are talking about when they say it, and reluctantly concur in admiting its existence. But I never liked the idea that somehow its ‘fashionable’ for us youngsters to not-be-friends with anyone who’s DOB varies too largely from our own.
What on earth does that have to do with friendship!? Ok, the closest I’ve got to understanding it is that you give people a different degree of respect based on their age. But that still has nothing whatsoever to do with compatible personalities, wonderfully character-ful people, or just what Anne of Green Gables would call “kindred spirits”.
Anyway, I’m off at a tangent… what this post was meant to be about was how curious it is the way that technology exposure ‘divides’ us, in a generation-gappy kind of way. Given my rant, I guess it won’t come as a surprise to you that I’m not happy about this. Yet I must acknowledge that its something that is often painfully noticable to me.
With most of my friends my own age, we just chat. Whether that is IRL, on an instant messenger, via email, phone, whatever… we just don’t care to one degree. We say “oh, yes I got your email” as a way of referring to a particular conversation, but really it makes absolutely no difference to us whether we say “got your email” or “got your text”. In a way, we have learnt to ‘make the technology fade into the background – become invisible’, in a way very much like Bill Gates’ dream in The Road Ahead.
Not so some of my older friends*. It seems their comfort-level has taken rather longer to accumulate, and tho’ they will use new media, they come across as rather ‘stilted’. As if maybe in the background they’re trying to get across a cheap-and-cheerful email while their real concentration is on saving the planet or something important like that.
This becomes even more noticable when they first begin to use a new medium – email to forum; phone to skype. For a significant period of time, you can almost see the cloud of fear being transferred over the web-waves. Don’t get me wrong, I have an ‘adjustment’ period too. Yet having grown up with this sort of stuff, my adjustment period seems to be significantly shorter.
Therefore, this clip has reminded me how it is special to me when I discover one of my friends who is uncomfortable using computers finally settle down and “just be themselves” when they communicate online.
*talking mainly about the non-geeky variety here!