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When I was your age…

Hello and a happy Friday to you once again, you lovely human, you!

Last week, I was working on a piece I was not quite ready to share.

Since then, I went camping and had some personal family things to attend to that took up my time. I found myself, still, unable to truly dive into the topic I wanted to share.

However, another topic came to mind during the week. Which I considered a little lighter and more playful. Therefore, I decided to share this one with you instead at this time.

This week, I want to discuss a topic that I used to think was funny, but am now on the other side of the coin… This week’s topic: The ever evolving technology!

I didn’t have the Internet until I was 8 years old. Yes, I know, I’m giving away my age a little here.. But it’s no secret -- I’m 33, there ya go, the social construct that women sharing their age is considered inappropriate is now shattered.

My dad came home one day and said: “kids, I’m gonna introduce you to a little thing called “the Internet”.” To which my brothers and I responded with “are there any games?”.

It was such a jump forward in technology and it left many of my parents’ generation behind.

My parents did a pretty good job keeping up with all the new trends and such. New phones, new computers, new TV’s, new new new… but at one point, they didn’t even know what they didn’t know. And that’s totally OK!

I grew up being introduced to the internet at the perfect time. My young mind absorbed the information like a sponge and I quickly became fluent in flip-phone texting.

Herein lies the topic of conversation for this week. I consider myself to be pretty “in the know” with navigation through today’s up and coming technology. But the speed in which technology develops and evolves is leaving me in its dust, huffing and puffing.

I caught myself saying the phrase “when I was your age” to a youngster!! And so it begins…

The thing is, it’s our responsibility to either do our best to learn the new ways of doing things, or do things the old fashion way.

The other week, I was having a conversation about the advancement in technology, and I thought about the gap between generations. My grandparents grew up with no phones, no television, no movies. They watched as the world changed and shifted all around them. When their kids (my parents) were growing up, TV’s and telephones were introduced to the general public. This left my grandparents at a bit of a disadvantage while their kids were diving head first into new and interesting ways of living.

Fast forward 25 years, and now those kids have kids of their own (my generation). This time, the Internet boomed, cell phones, bluetooth, wifi, etc. Once again, a gap between generations is evident.

This is completely normal and expected since technology is always evolving and upgrading.

It also means that every so many years, something will be introduced to the world that will propel the youth forward and will leave the older generation behind.

It occurred to me while scrolling on social media, that despite growing up with Facebook, I am not so familiar with all that Social Media has to offer.

Today, we have Instagram, TikTok, Vine, and Snapchat. Actually, I don’t even know if this is considered old news at this point.

In order to be in the know, I would have to constantly be up to date with what’s hip and trending.

But because Social Media is worldwide, and so much can happen in an instant, I would have to spend most of my day online just to be in the loop. Which I’m not ready to commit to.

So, why am I talking about this?

Because I would like to bring some awareness and compassion for the generations who were not born into the virtual world. I hear kids talk to their grandparents with much disrespect simply because they don’t understand that you need to swipe up on an Instagram story to reach a website.

I don’t expect my grandparents, or parents, or even myself, to know how Instagram works.

And yet, the next generation does have such expectations.

I still need to explain to my mother how to access my website sometimes. She knows how it works, but the lingo is not so familiar to her.

I catch myself getting frustrated and impatient by her questions. “Why don’t you just know this?” I find myself thinking. And then I remember that she did not grow up with this technology. And while I was chatting with my friends online and growing up with Google and Youtube at my fingertips, she was busy making sure we’re fed and well provided for.

Nowadays, as her children are all grown up and she has more time on her hands to explore the World Wide Web more freely, she encounters things she had no idea existed. And here I am, annoyed that she doesn’t get it?! That’s crazy!

My mother’s grandkids of 2 and 3 years old are freely pressing links on the tablet like it’s the most natural thing in the world. Talk about a generation gap.

They are growing up in a world that will inevitably leave behind the generation that is not closely in the loop.

To be honest, I find myself exhausted trying to learn everything there is to know about Social Media these days.

Remember when you wanted to talk to your friends and you would just walk over to their houses, or talk on the landline telephone, which somehow was usually located in the kitchen?!

I do.

Today, I get messages from SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, emails, I’m surprised things don’t get lost.

As technology evolves, I feel it’s important to remain understanding of those who are less familiar. It’s important to respect where we came from and the people who lived during the beginning of this technological evolution.

As always, with love and kindness, and compassion for all generations, old and new.


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