"You've got yourself a digital ghost," the boy said as he mashed buttons and swiped his finger across screens.The man looked at him quizzically. "Well, fiddlesticks. Can you fix it?""O'course I can. You could too if you just took the time to learn about smartphones.""When I was your age, a smart phone was one that wasn't on a party line."The boy snorted. "I don't think you were ever my age!"The man snorted back. "O'course I was. We didn't have smart phones or anything like that. We had tape players and hi-fi systems and black light posters. That's what youth was all about." He leaned in over the boy's shoulder. "Say, what does this button do?"The phone emitted a high-pitched squealing and the screen went black. The boy shook his head and handed the dead phone back to the man. "You just bricked it.""I what?!""You bricked--oh, never mind. Let's go.""Go where?""To the tech store; you're gonna need a new phone."The man shook his head and grabbed his keys. "I don't get it; all I did was push one lousy button. In my day, pushing one button wasn't anything to get all shaken up about."The boy shook his head and followed. "Maybe you need to go back to your day."
Think about the generation immediately younger or older than you. What do you understand least about them — and what can you learn from them?
I actually don't go in much for the whole generation thing; there are folks in their 90s who can do more with technology than some in their 20s. There is a resilience that comes in all generations, a desire to learn, to do, to explore, that some have and some don't, regardless of age or the 'when' of their birth as it relates to the passage of time.As in my little InMon vignette, the boy is the man for the job, in that he has adapted to technology, while the man is an expert on technologies no longer in vogue. In this case, it is the boy who needed to handle the job. However, I believe it is obvious that they have a lack of understanding about each other; such confusion is apparent when people of different backgrounds, genders, belief systems, &c. get together. Unless we are willing to learn from each other, to join together the best of what we've got, there will always be a gap.