The generation gap is accelerating – The Hindu

The pace of technology is such that even 30-somethings are unable to catch up with younger people.

Born in the 1980s and having seen all the changes that swept over India in the 1990s through the current of liberalisation, globalization and privatization, I thought I had seen it all. What more could come anyway? Television, computers, mobile phones, smart gadgets, everything was already there.

On the one hand, life has become more comfortable as technology and services from the advanced world have made their way to India. On the other hand, the cultural and lifestyle changes introduced by the new economic model had, in a way, left the question whether the changes had arrived for good.

When we were busy exploring the new excitement of instant messaging and staying in touch, our parents and grandparents had a hard time adjusting to these new age gadgets. When our text messages evolved into short forms such as LOL, ROFL, LMK, and NVM, an entire generation struggled to catch up. Nonetheless, we’ve all had our fair share of fun watching them struggle with these new but simple things. What we forgot was that we lived in an ever-changing world, and for better or worse, times were about to change.

Lose contact

Now, in my early thirties, I’ve started to feel that the generation gap has already started to set in between my cohort and Gen Z, or Generation Z.

I’m a bit averse to running to keep up with emerging trends and technology and I could never even get through the opening laps of the hit video game Temple Run, getting grabbed and run over by the demonic monkey that would come chasing by behind.

I was never able to get my hands on PUBG before it was banned. The lack of that youthful curiosity began to cast doubt on whether I had already begun to age.

Generation Z, the digital natives immersed in smartphones and social media, are far smarter, and the competitiveness that has taken hold has always raised the bar for their performance in exams or at any event. The pace at which they can move is hard for us to catch up to, the same way our previous generation struggled to catch up to us. So laughing at our struggles while juggling staying relevant with the new generation is due.

far from virtual

While preparing our children to keep up with the changing pace, we must not step on, or discard, some of the more intuitive aspects of life.

Social media and smartphones should not lead to alienation from the real world, which is much more beautiful than the seemingly more attractive virtual world.

We ourselves are already so sucked into the magic of the smartphones we spend most of our day with. Thus, the possibility is so glaring that this new generation could be sucked deep into the precarious depths of the shiny virtual world.

The only way to have a real life is to connect with nature. No human creation can match the beauty and awe nature has to offer. The new generation needs an introduction to nature, away from the bright lights of the screens they’re stuck in. Meaningful living is only possible when we feel part of nature, the sky above, and the universe so amazing and yet incomprehensible and challenging human ingenuity to explore.

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