Generation Chasm


The other day my parents asked me for a little help. They are not very computer lierate, and doing the simplest things like opening an attachment seems to be beyond them. I would teach them properly but like all people who really wish they didnt HAVE to learn these things, they got impatient and just wanted to get on and do their thing.

Anyhow, whilst playing around with their post I noticed my father had sent an email to ebay. They recently bought an item online, and my father replied to their payment confirmation letter with a thank you for your prompt response note. Let me re-itterate that, My Father sent a thank you note, to e-bay automatic response website address.

It occurs to me that the generation gap is more of a chasm, and its getting wider.

My Father just believes that when someone is polite enough to tell him something is all taken care of, he should have the decency to say thank you. Its a simple and obvious mistake, and its also the explanation for why my mother has a nightmare everytime she turns MSN on. Within minutes she has a plethora of friends saying hello, and despite me telling her over and over again to ignore them, that the etiquette of IM-ing is different to seeing your friends in the street say, she still insists on writing over and over again… “Hello, I cant talk, Im late for an appointment”, before turning the computer off in disgust.

When I think about it though, I realise that my frustration at their dogmatic approach to procedure is just as bad as my reluctance to wear my trousers down by my bottom, listen to hip hop and use txt spk.

To me, there is nothing so distressing than seeing the language I know and love being corrupted by lazy kids that cant be bothered to learn how to spell. To me they are the same kids that go ‘happy slapping’, that paint our streets with grafitti, and throw rubbish without care into our streets.

I know it makes me sound like a grumpy old man saying these things (and lumping kids together as “the youth of today”), but I just cant help it. I find them all so annoying. After all, what is it about kids that forces them to draw a giant penis whenever they see an empty wall. Do they really think its never been done before? Is it really a statement from a disassociated youth against a tyrannical society? Or is it more to do with a fascination with sex and a desire to look hard to their peers (is that not slightly homoerotic too? drawing penises on walls infront of your male friends?)

Im not saying kids didnt draw grafitti when I was younger, but even the “Wot No…”  cartoons which you saw everywhere in the 80’s occasionally got hi-jacked by a political cause… Wot No Jobs, Wot No Bombs… What political message can you subvert the penis drawing to mean? Rights for Fathers perhaps… or Lewinski for president?

What is it about our society that makes our younger kids so careful about the environment, telling us off when we dont recycle, and makes our teenagers so carefree and dirty throwing wrappers on the floor even though they are next to a bin. What do we do to them to change them so dramatically? Did we as young boys and girls really spend so little effort trying to get along with the society we live in.

And how did we ever allow ‘happy slapping’ to permeate through our streets. In case you dont know what happy slapping is, it is the trend of filming your frined slapping a random stranger on the street, and posting it on the internet. Why have we become so scared that we turn away from a happy slapping incident now, rather than confronting the youngsters. When I was a kid I used to get confronted just for swearing! Now as a kid you can physically abuse someone and nobody bats an eyelid!

Instead of facing up to these problems we turn away, we hide in our 3 bedroom homes, with its security cameras and door alarms, we watch ‘crimewatch’ and ‘cops’ and phone in to our local radio programmes about knife crime. We complain from on high, declaring someone ought to do something about this, but it cant be us, because they are minors and will probably cry rape if we go near them. After all, in our society, there is nothing so feared, so loathed, so hated as a paedophile.

In the end though, how do we ever expect to teach our children how to behave, how do we ever expect to show them the difference between right and wrong, how can we ensure the next generation will continue in our footsteps to strive for a caring society when we have not shown them how to interact with the world we have created, and when we are too frightened to leave our own doors.

If we are running scared from children, is it not surprising they feel disassociated?

The leap is too large for me. Stuck in my ways, too old to change. A million different ways to say “I dont want to”, but just as I get frustrated at my father refusing to use a mobile phone, so I have to bite the bullet and accept things as they are and not as they once were.

With that in mind, I have decided to take the bull by the horns and face up to my own personal pet hates head on. Im off towalk the streets with my trousers belted around my arse whilst listening to Snoopy Doggs on my iPoddy thing.

L8rs !

~ by eggplantinspace on August 4, 2009.

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