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What's your point of view?

I've been thinking about the disconnect between my generation and those that are older than mine, even 5- 10 years older. I know that younger generations always complain about how older people don't understand them, don't trust them, don't care about them. Mostly, it is probably just young people trying to fight to be heard, but I am beginning to think that things are different and that the ways of thinking are changing and that the understanding between older generations and mine may be a fight to get to work.

Why is this? Well I've talked at length about this with some friends of mine and I would venture to say that the reason for this disconnect is the transfer of information. Think of it this way. Until about 10 years ago, computers were not commonplace in a standard American home. We communicated with others via the telephone, waiting for those Sunday nights when rates would go down. We wrote letters. I can remember back to when my brother went off to college and he even wrote me some letters. That was 1990. High speed internet is just beginning to be common in homes, making the switch from a slow 56 k modem (I remember when we got our first 14 k modem). Suddenly, technology booms for the common American citizen. I was fortunate to have a family that jumped on those bandwagons early, but some of my friends who are a few years older than I am still struggle with technology and how it works and how it integrates into our lives.

Suddenly there are these social networks that have sprung up on the internet... facebook, friendster, myspace... they are limitless. And blogs? The distribution of material has become absolutely amazing. Suddenly intellectuals spring up from nowhere. People who demand to have their material read, some that do it for themselves and some that do it for a profit.

Reaching people my age is getting harder for those who do not understand these technical advances. Every night, I talk to my friends in Illinois and in other parts of the country for free (well for the cost of my internet). I can use things like skype or google talk to chat with them via voice, but most of the time it is all instant messaging.

I am a child of the multi-tasking generation. Also known as a child of the perpetual ADHD generation. I always have to be doing more than one thing. I read books while talking online or listening to music. I talk to people on the phone while surfing the internet. I have a whole lot of difficulty being completely present with others because of my need to constantly be doing something else. I blame this somewhat on the technology, I think there are good and bad parts to the mulit-tasking, but it is how I run.

I am often left unimpressed by the attempts to reach younger people by churches. Not because they're not trying, but because they likely haven't even thought about asking people my age what they want. The issues that we deal with are completely different than those of our parents who grew up in the 60s, 70s or even 80s. Technology has changed everything. It is the window by which I see the world. I am considerably more informed about world issues, and varying sides of world issues because I don't have to rely on watching the evening news for everything. I can check website after website getting all sides of the story.

Reaching out to this generation is going to be tough. I am hopeful because of the people that I know that are my age and are beginning to see that we must be the leaders of this millennial generation. We are always going to ask why and being spoon-fed answers will not fly. There are two parts to everything, the question and the answer. Those who are simply satisfied with the answers are people that I don't understand. Those that see the world in black and white are those that I do not understand. The complexity of this world is something I cherish. I seek the next question. I want to be someone that encourages that and that lets others grow because of it.
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2 Comments:

I've been know to express this same senimant. Since were are in the middle of it I don't think people see how much the world has changed...

By Blogger Jeremy, at 1:14 PM  

So true! My roomates and I just had a discussion on that very topic....

By Anonymous Missy, at 4:53 PM  

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