In an interesting conversation, we asked this ‘cool’ grandmother for her perspective on this generation
This generation of young people wake up and immediately they are on their cell phone. Why would you do that? Like that is your only option?! You could be reading or be productive – but they are straight on their phone. One young person I had dinner with began reading an academic paper on her phone at the dinner table – why would you do that? You cannot even see what is on screen, I hardly think she is reading it at all. It’s like they have to be ‘seen’ to be busy on their phone.
I read an interesting article about the amount of knowledge that someone would assimilate in the early 1900’s in a lifetime would not compare with the amount of information people acquire now within a short space of time. George Michael dies, Carrie Fisher dies and everyone knows it, like 5 minutes later!
The young people around me say that I don’t know anything. But I am not a complete idiot – for a 69 year old I am good on the internet – but more than that I know how to find answers in life and often it is not found on the internet. Their words will never make me feel less intelligent.
Because they have so much access to so much knowledge, or should I say ‘information’, it is very difficult for them to find what it is important. There are things you can be knowledgeable about that is of absolutely no benefit to you. So the pursuit of knowledge is for what? It is not a means to an end – so what is the purpose?
I think it is just to help them with their own perception – they just want to say “I know more” and it somehow makes them feel better about themselves. They can get very heated about something that they have read about – but when it comes down to their beliefs systems, or what matters in their everyday world – they actually have little knowledge. When you scratch beneath the surface of what they seem so passionate about, there is not much knowledge there.
When you get older you get to work out what will impact on your life – in real actual terms. Yet these young people get ‘put out’ by things that don’t matter – they get offended by things that don’t actually make a difference to your world, like they get insulted, apropos of nothing.
We need to train them on how to think about the information they are learning. They need to learn critical thought to understand what is actually important to their lives. What are the impacts, and how does this bit of information impact on you. They need to learn to discern what they read and how media interprets reality in a distorted way.
I find that even with me, sometimes I go into the internet to look for something specific – and then I find something else to read, so I read that. So that inquisitiveness, which is a good thing, swallows up time with meaningless information.
My opinion is that, instead of becoming distracted on their phone, they should be getting up early and embracing everyday.
One young lady I spoke with was saying that she is 21 but doesn’t feel that way – she feels much older. But this generation can be lethargic and apathetic. They have low energy.
It is like the device is an escape, an excuse – or even a pacifier. Like when you are engaging with them in a conversation – they suddenly disengage and look back on their device. Then they are distracted, not listening and they come back with a point that has not acknowledged your point. Its like you are talking to a vacant person. They are not fully engaged with you. But it’s funny because they can repeat what you said, if you say: “What did I just say?”. They know what you said – but they are not thinking about it. It’s like it’s just stored in their short-term memory bank but nothing has been processed.
Kids are entitled to their own perception however I think that the older you get the more you realise how little you know. It’s a natural part of teenage-hood and young adult hood to think you are wiser and more knowledgable than the next – but now, this generation, seems far worse.
They don’t pick up after themselves because they are so focused on the screen. So you have to initiate the action for them.
Their critical issue is not to start the day in reality – it is to start the day on their device. That is the most important thing – and they can get distracted by whatever is on their screen.
So I asked a young family member, what do you think about Carrie Fisher’s death? She answered: “it’s so sad,… and so bad that she never got to yield the light sabre”.
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