The Obvious Details

I have noticed something a LOT lately: older people acting like they can’t look things up for themselves… e.g. asking “do you carry __________” to a person ON THE INTERNET when the person they asked has a website with all of their inventory including sizes… ON THE INTERNET… hello, it is basically a WAY easier version of an encyclopedia, only it has EVERYTHING… even some things you don’t want to find…

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And when I say “older people” I am not referring to people who are 100 years old who ride around on scooters and give you cinnamon disk candies at church. I am talking about people who were around and able to adopt smart phones and computers and google before they retired, some are probably still working…

*PSA* I am NOT ripping on the elderly here… this is just a point of stress for me personally.

Say what you will about millennials but I have not found this to be a flaw of my generation but the ones just before. Or asking for the same information over and over via text and not saving it. Things that just make you want to scream SCROLL UP! I ANSWERED THIS LAST WEEK… and the week before that and a month before that.. you get the idea. I think the reason for this is because while certain millennials believed that everything is owed to them because the whole world wide web is at their fingertips, the same group also knows… the world wide web is at their fingertips.

Questions like “how far is _____ from here?”, “Is ______ open?”, “What time is _________ on Saturday?”, “Can you ask __________ if they ________ for me?… I don’t have their number” can be understandably unnerving and often answered with: “google it” or “I’ll send you their info… SAVE IT”. We live in a world of instant gratification and often instant aggression if we feel that our time is being wasted re-hashing something we know we have already done. Those are just examples on a personal level. This also bleeds into the workplace.

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At a previous job, there were two distinct “schools” if you will, those who were paperless and those who used typewriters, literal typewriters that were so old they no longer make parts for them. I am talking about people who wanted scanned copies along with hard copies, so in the event that a customer needed a copy (that they had already received in the mail, they could scan them and email them what they needed…………………. Are you knocking your head against a wall yet? Me too.

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I believe that there had been several attempts to explain that the files they needed where already in the computer, but those explanations fell on deaf ears. files-in-computer-zoolander.jpg

Those weren’t even the most frustrating. The most frustrating were the individuals who are right on the cusp of the millennial age group who didn’t want to learn to use the systems so they wouldn’t HAVE to use the systems. Selective technology adoption.

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I can’t help but wonder what paralleled aggression for the less than technologically savvy was for the less than technologically savvy. I’ve heard stories about having to turn antennas to get 3 channels, those weird heaters in people’s bathrooms back in the day, etc., but to be honest with you that always kind of seemed like laziness on the part of an older generation … “I know how to do it, but you’ve going to learn how to do it”. I know there was probably some type of now obsolete technology that kids in the 60s and 70s had to “teach” their parents how to use or maybe the mature adults of the day took their can do attitude and learned how to play an 8-track tape and work the VCR and video camera by themselves, not letting their kids handle them because they were kids.

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And if Leave it to Beaver taught us anything (besides proper attire for housework) it was that there was no problem bigger or scarier than Dad and that little kids don’t really have big problems, ever. Or even a more modern take on family – The Brady Bunch, same story, different clothes plus one housekeeper.

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Perhaps that is why my parents’ generation DID allow their kids to be more responsible. They grew up watching shows that portrayed perfect families who’s big problem was having dinner on the table at 6 pm with a smile on your face.

They lived in a different world than what the media told them about. They lived through a presidential assassination, school integration and riots and their moms worked outside the home, often in non glamorous jobs, sometimes more than one.

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Today’s mature adults saw real change in political climates. So why, when they lived through so much do they now seem to be putting off the vibe of technologically helpless. “How do I do this?” “where do I find this?” “Can you just do it?” etc. Maybe it’s because they’re tired, maybe it’s because they grew up with a generation before them would just did it instead of teaching it, so they became a passive learning generation, used to hearing, “oh i’ll just do it” instead of “let me teach you how to do it”….MAYBE it is selection technology adoption.

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This is all 100% speculation but it makes sense to me. These were the children of the Rosie the Riveter generation.. “We can do it!”…

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