Monday, September 15, 2014

Educating Mom – Social Media

   The term ‘generation gap’ was coined in the 60’s.  That decade saw the widest divide between two generations.  Music switched from solo artists like Elvis and Neil Sedaka to groups like The Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc.  Fashion was reinvented to break age old rules on hairstyle killing barbershop business because the men refused to cut their hair.  Hemlines went up from below the knee to showing as much thighs as possible.  While their predecessors were timid and restrained, the youth took to the streets chanting political slogans.  Everything in the 60’s screamed ‘radical change’.

   The gap between the 60’s and the today’s generation however does not scream anything, just a silent sneaking crack that widens every minute.  Silent because homes previously filled with conversation are now preoccupied with internet entertainment, each individual to his own device.  Arguments have moved from verbal to social media, even fights and bullying are conducted on a monitor. 

   Julie, a middle aged mom can still remember how in her teens the home telephone was the way to reach her boyfriend.  If he failed to call in a couple of days she missed him terribly and wondered if he was seeing another girl.  Like most baby boomers she married that boyfriend as soon as it was workably possible. 

   She raised her daughter Tina the best way she knew how.  When she helped the girl with the homework it didn’t quite work.  The data she learned with her education was no longer the data being taught.  The generation crack between them has begun to creep in. 

   When Tina reached her teens Julie worried about her going to dances and dates.  Tina’s dates did not pick her up from home.  She didn’t go to dance parties.  She went to sci-fi conventions instead.  The young girl didn’t wait by the phone like her mother did some 25 years back.  She finished college, got a managerial job and comes home each day, go directly to Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, etc. amazingly happy without a boyfriend. 

   “Mom look the dog is dancing Cha-cha-cha!”

   “Hey look this is funny!  Somebody Twitted…”

   “You got to see this, the elephant is painting art work!”

  

    Julie’s friends who were her age could not believe her daughter does not have a boy stashed somewhere.  In the previous generation a girl who has no boyfriend to show was probably seeing a married guy.  To the new generation husband and children did not come first on the list.  They came after career, travel, social interest, if they were on the list at all.


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