The Generation Gap: Social Impact

By Nicholas Perugini, Trending Writer

When thinking of the generation gap a quote from Douglass Adams comes to mind: “I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.”

Technology has rapidly expanded in the past decades. Almost every ten years something new comes along and changes the way we see the world. The Internet and the smartphone are recent examples that come to mind. These innovations came when millennials were still just kids or in their teenage years. To them, this was the status quo or something innovative. Baby boomers saw this new technology after they were 35 and to many of them it is here to destroy the ‘natural order of things’.

This bickering between generations is nothing new. 50 years ago when baby boomers were in their 20s people said negative things about television. Baby Boomers were the TV generation as millennials are the Internet generation. It is funny because everything that boomers complain about millennials is the similar to that of they received when they were younger. They listened to loud music, were hippies, and had their eyes glued to the television. Millennials listen to loud auto-tuned pop music, are a bunch of hipsters, and cannot look up from their phones. Neither are so different after all.

A generation gap does exist and the recent rush of technological innovations has made it more apparent. With the rise of social media, older generations can be more vocal about their complaints. #HowToConfuseAMillenial is an example of this. Older generations feel left behind by the sudden shift in culture that the internet has caused. Then again, this happens with every generation. In thirty years, millennials are going to be complaining to a new generation and how they listen to weird music, are disrespectful, and are glued to some newfangled contraption.

The generation gap is as old as society itself. Older and younger generations will always be somewhat at odds. The expansion of the internet and social media has made people more vocal about this gap. The generation gap must just be the “natural order of things”.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, September 13th print edition.

Contact Nicholas at

nicholas.perugini@student.shu.edu

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