I’ve always been intrigued with what it means to be in a certain generation, since there are so many fun names for them: those born after World War II (ie. late 1940’s – 60’s) are called the Baby Boomers, while the last decade or so is called Generation Y and Generation Z, meaning the young children today.
We also have Generation X in the mix, which occurred shortly before Y and Z came in with the strong, tech savvy-bent college students, teenagers, and children. It’s an interesting mix of people, a slew of different generations interacting every day, all with varying exposure to pop culture messages in their lives. Since all generations have diverse outlooks on life, I thought I’d explore what it means to be a member of 2010 and what technology has done for the people of today.
If 15 to 20 years ago, you asked people what, for example, an iPod or a Wii is, it wouldn’t even be on anyone’s radar. It wasn’t until the early to mid-2000’s that anyone had even heard of text messaging or even dreamed of keeping all of their music in one compact technological instrument. The children of today are lucky because they’ve grown up with all of these luxuries and have learned enough about technology in classrooms, or just by being around other kids, that they aren’t shy of the “shiny and new.”
The generations that have most been immersed in a world of technology are Generation Y and Z, both of which have the majority of presence in schools around the country at secondary, undergrad, and graduate level. The new generations of “learners” have basically been taught by computers and other technological devices that both improve the learning of individuals and change the way that children process information.
Gone are the days where dioramas and coloring are the main source of children’s young education, since now fancy SmartBoards and interactive computer games are replacing the simple pleasures of making paper airplanes during nap time (or maybe that was only me).
Children are better at multi-tasking today, but less apt to be able to pay attention to short television commercials in the middle of their favorite shows (although now there’s TiVo or DVR, which makes it possible to fast-forward commercials in shows after pre-recording them). Despite the fact that multi-tasking has advantages and disadvantages, technology has had a huge impact on how children and even adults in 2010 view the world.
Adults are trying to adjust to technology that never had before, while children are learning from a very young age that iPods, Wii video games, and cell phones are common devices in this changing world. According to one article, microchips might even be something that everyone has embedded into them, as the younger generation (Generation Y, Z, and even the later Generation Alpha) will be more likely to approve of their usage. It’s kind of frightening how much of the world is technological now, but with the up-and-coming devices making it easier to be connected to the world, it’s a give-and-take to live on Earth today.
The general idea of this article is that children today have more technological advantages than the older generations. These new generations have become an influence on previous ones in terms of teaching them what they know, although it’s the Generation Y and Z children/young adults that have had the luxuries of computers/iPods most or all of their lives that has changed communication forever. I’m sitting in an office full of Mac computers right now where everyone is blogging, which is something that hadn’t even been invented 15 years ago. The world is changing and the generations that are up-and-coming have all the tools to do things that older adults never would have dreamed of. The future is being written now, so think of how far we’ve come with this new technology and how that might change life as we know it.
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