OK Boomer: what separates generations?

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From ‘boomers’ to ‘zoomers’, each generation brings something unique to the table, and in a time of dire issues, collaboration among generations is a must. Why then does intergenerational animosity run rampant?

There are officially six generations in America today, the most recent and prevalent four being Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z. While many factors affect the perceived gap of understanding between generations, the problem seems to boil down to one main difference: technology.

In a span of fewer than 100 years, society jumped from being almost completely analog to being ruled by all things digital, causing a massive change in how we communicate with, educate and treat one another.

“I remember when I first got in a classroom that had a computer in it, and I remember the first time my dad brought a computer home to our house,” science teacher Rachel Kannady said. “People in high school now are forced to grow up in this environment of flexibility. My generation, our whole world changed so it was kind of like change or sink.”

Younger generations, especially Generation Z, tend to have an easier time with this leap since they have only lived in the world of touch screens and social media galore. Older generations, such as the Baby Boomers, face a harder adjustment. Enter stereotypes.

Stereotypically, older generations are seen as maladaptive or conservative, resisting the change of the times. Conversely, ‘screenagers’ are used to having the world at their fingertips, with new ideas flooding their feeds every second, causing a need for instant gratification.

These generalizations polarize generations. Is reconciliation even possible? AP Language and Composition teacher Adrien Alsobrook believes that it is possible through respect and accepting the inevitable.

“I think we should appreciate the experiences of every person, regardless of what generation they’re in,” Alsobrook said. “Everything kind of comes and goes and changes, and we just have to be prepared for change.”

 

Emlyn Polatty
Juniors Kush Bhatia, Ben Nganga, and Yash Khiraya puzzle at an old radio, seemingly from another era. Most members of Generation Z are unfamiliar with bulky technology like radios, feeling more comfortable with new models of bluetooth headphones such as AirPods.