Generational Divides

Could generational divides become a thing of the past? Technology is evolving at unprecedented rates. It constantly changes the way people are doing things, and how they see and experience the world.

Think of generations of the past. It’s easy to compare them to one or two particular events, but what about technology? The Millennial generation is the last in America to experience old and new technology. The generation following them has experienced life exclusively based on technology.

The baby boomers had a pseudo industrial revolution during and after WWII that they benefited from. TVs, radios, etc. Tech continued its evolution for the next group. Music and what not.

The Silent Generation wasn’t able to experience much technology.

It’s interesting to think if future generations will face much divide. Tech is evolving faster than we age. The ability for other generations to accept and make the enhancements in our lives is easy. We are all connected, therefore, events are impacting us in similar ways.

We are privy to the change happening before us, and we can experience it nearly in real-time. What will actually separate one generation from another moving forward? Events, like Pearl Harbor, The Vietnam War, 9/11, and Parkland impact all of us differently, especially when they occur while young. But, do these events actually matter with regard to age anymore? The interconnectedness almost enables everyone to similarly experience it, unless they are physically there. Sure, emotional intelligence is different based on age, but can that outweigh the interconnectedness.

Does this matter? As someone who studies demographics, yes. It most certainly matters. Generational divides are typically long run positives for a society. It creates evolution through revolution. It enables our youth the ability to question our elders and change the system when they age. Tech has put us all on watch. We all question everything and demand further efficiencies in processes big and small. This constant change and continual evolution deters a generational shift.

Does this bode well for developed nations? That remains to be seen. I guess the next generation will have to decide. My prediction is that the human mind can only move so fast, and too much change and evolution in a short period causes frustration. The pendulum will shift back. American consumers, and the rest of the developed world will want to settle, and resist the tech enhancements that companies continue to put in front of us. We will grow complacent in our norms, because humans naturally like to avoid uncomfortable change. This sets the stage for a shift again. Where the pendulum goes is the million dollar question.

There is a Microsoft commercial that can aid. It asks more of tech. Think of it. Tech has made us more connected, and has increased our efficiencies at home and work. The ad requests tech to make our lives better. This is in healthcare, energy usage, and sustainable agriculture. This is the change humans want, and it requires us to do minimal shifts in our day-to-day life. Expect that to be where tech takes us. What does this have to do with the future generation? They will see something bigger in the picture. They will see something we, and those older and younger than us are missing, or averse to. What will we miss? 

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