Generation XYZ

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 remember a long while ago being sat in my cousin’s loft conversion trying to set up his new computer for him – I believe it was running Windows 98 so there could have been any multitude of reasons why it wasn’t behaving. We were surrounded by cattle passports and there was a mattress in the corner with a TV on the end where he would fall asleep in front of the Ashes so as not to disturb his family.

The other thing I remember from the night was him musing about how far technology would go in the future, considering where it was now. This is quite apt considering that the first iPhone was released 8 years ago today. Touch screen phones and the connected world are now the norm and are simple and even expected yet, when my parent’s generation were my age, this was technology that they didn’t have, certainly in their homes.

I’d like to understand how they got things done. Even simple things like meeting friends when you can’t just “give me a ring when you get here”. I just bought concert tickets while 40 miles from the venue – how could that happen? How did business work in the days before people received 200 e-mails a day and its end to end processes are run by computer systems designed on the other side of the world?

I’m lucky enough to live in a place and a time where simple things are easy because I am connected, for better or worse, to everything. I just used my phone to turn on my home lights, for crying out loud! The lessons I’d like to learn from the previous generation are how they did things without that connectivity so that it becomes just what it is supposed to be – an efficiency rather than a dependency.

And I hope that future generations see that also, and that future technology that we can now only dream of opens up a realm of possibilities to make life better, and not just easier.

People try to put us d-down (Talkin’ ’bout my generation).
Just because we g-g-get around (Talkin’ ’bout my generation).
Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin’ ’bout my generation).

My Generation by The Who

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