Tag Archives: Technology

A Generation’s Greatest Gift to the Next…

I am Gen Y, part of the millennial generation (1981-1997): hate to be sold to, don’t look to acquire ‘stuff,’ can self-organize peers for grassroots activism, trust friends first and parents second, seek ethical business practices and value customization. My mother is between Baby Boomer and Gen X (early 60s to early 80s): educated, active, balanced, happy & family oriented. My cousins, ten years younger, are part of the next generation Z (2000+): “the internet generation.”

There is some dispute as to where some generations begin and end. Some would consider my cousins part of the millennials, but as someone raised in the 90s not having access to internet that did not tie up your phone lines or a personal laptop until I went away to university, I can’t help but think I come from a prior generation. I have watched my younger cousins own everything from Netbooks to cell phones to iPads to laptops in their 15 years – more than my whole family has owned in 54 years – I am led to believe there are some generational differences. In fact, we speak a whole different language – mine is not on fleek.

But it is not our differences I am promoting. It is the gifts that generations can share.  While there are certainly notable variances between generations – our use of technology, our expectance of ethical practices, our acceptance of abhorrent practices, our political views, our work ethic, our education – I think there needs to be more focus on our similarities. Sure, it is of great importance that employers to take note of the differences between generations when it comes to employee engagement and interests, but what do people need to best interact with each other?

Love.

Alright, that does seem super hippy and oversimplified or maybe too big a request…but let me break it down for you. When I suggest that this generation should love the next, what I mean is that they deserve respect, kindness, empathy, guidance and acceptance. What each generation has in common is the previous generation saying: “Things weren’t like this in my day,” or “You guys have it so easy with technology…”  A simple dismissal of the current reality, no empathy, no Leadership, no love.

Question of the Month – Relationships

In this time of Facebook, twitter, Skype, snap-chat, instagram – oh, the list goes on and on! – we really have no excuse not to stay “connected” to the ones we love. Friends, family, significant others can seemingly be reached anytime, anywhere. We’ve become so accessible that we  expect instantaneous responses from one another, and feel utterly naked without cellphones just for one day. But as we rely more and more on technology to communicate, we must wonder what toll that takes on our personal relationships. I feel a bit like Carrie Bradshaw as I ask:carrie

In our modern world, what are some techniques you use to keep your relationships strong and healthy?

Evelyn

I met one of my best friends back when we were in grade 7. She is the one of the very few people that I know I can count on no matter what. This year is actually our 10 year anniversary! Reflecting back on how we kept our friendship so strong, a lot of it would be thanks to communicating.

My friend Stephanie and I have always had a long distance relationship. We went to different schools and met through tutoring sessions at a local tutoring school and now she is located in Ottawa. Back in the day, when MSN was still popular and functional, we would talk every single day after class. We shared our stories about what happened that day and what kind of homework we were assigned. We also talked about serious things like our fears, or our life goals and dreams. To sum up, we basically talked about everything. Now that MSN is pretty much obsolete, we communicate via text message.

peanutAlthough technology allows us to keep up with our day-to-day activities, we still make it a point to meet up whenever we’re both in town. This is usually very rare and sometimes when we are both in town, we are swamped with family plans and nothing can be moved around. It’s tough having such a close friend be so far away physically but when we’re reunited, it’s guaranteed to be a good time! I am very grateful to have a friend like Stephanie in my life and I could only imagine how tough life would be without her support.

Rachael

When it comes to maintaining relationships, friendly, romantic, or family, there’s no question that it takes work. While I think that it’s great we have hundreds of apps and technological ways to communicate, I strongly believe that there’s no replacement for face to face communication or physical contact.

I’ve sadly found that many of my relationships have weakened over the years, despite attempts to maintain them through Skype or Messaging. I suppose I believe that the method of communication is only as strong as the relationship itself. If it is a strong one to begin with, then having access to Facebook, Texting, what-have-you, will enable it to stay strong. If it wasn’t, then I think technology drives the relationship further apart. If we let ourselves think that Facebook can replace a text, and a text can replace a phone call, and a phone call can replace face to face contact, then we’ve failed one another.

Real relationships take time to build and maintain, but I think the more you put into them, the greater the reward. In the end, I would rather be able to count five strong, healthy relationships on one hand, than the 50 I try to maintain online.

So go give your Mother a hug and take a friend out to lunch! n-USING-SMARTPHONE-large570