First a little bombast. I’m a boomer. I was born when Dwight Eisenhower was president. As a matter of record we had the best TV, the best Broadway, certainly the best music, better sports teams, and better literature. I am willing to concede though, Cold War Kids can’t and don’t do everything.
Sometime this past December we (the family) found ourselves in a weekend with nothing planned. No reservations, no obligations to be anywhere. Without ever uttering it (teenage daughter would scowl with the laser eyes of death if we did,) we settled in for a family movie night. Somehow we agreed on Field of Dreams. Now my wife and I, we sit back and watch a movie – no books, no phones, no telegraph or backgammon boards. If we don’t like the movie that’s another story. On the other hand, my 14 year old sat there with a laptop so she could use Facebook AND an I-phone so she could text. I was parentally miffed that she could be so aloof to the cultural rewards she was going to miss. Except I was wrong. Along with being able to manage the different screen-centric social interactions, she was also able to follow the movie. She laughed when you’re supposed to, recognized voices (the obvious James Earl Jones as Darth Vader association) and asked us to explain the cultural references and the movie’s historical context (Shoeless Joe Jackson and the 1919 White Sox.)
She and her peers seem to be able to maintain a social multi-tasking level that is impossible for me. At best I’ve juggled 2-3 telephone receivers, but I don’t pretend to be able to chat, text, Skype, Skype-party, walk and chew gum at the same time. Her determination to stay in-touch is pretty laudable. This kind of behavior and ability should make for both interesting family lives and workforce adjustments over the next 10 years. I have to concede that they may be on to something.
If you’re interested, we do have some titles that talk about the very real generational differences at play today. They have real bearing on both the home and the salt mine.
- Generation we : how millennial youth are taking over America and changing our world forever
- Grown up digital : how the net generation is changing the world
- Not everyone gets a trophy : how to manage Generation Y
- Parenting the millennial generation : guiding our children born between 1982 and 2000
- When generations collide : traditionalists, baby boomers, generation xers, millennials : who they are, why they clash, how to solve the generational puzzle at work
- Bridging the boomer xer gap : creating authentic teams for high performance at work
- Slackonomics : generation X in the age of creative destruction
- Mind your x‘s and y’s : satisfying the 10 cravings of a new generation of consumers
- X saves the world : how Generation X got the shaft but can still keep everything from sucking