Friday, June 27, 2014

Boomer Bummer

Maybe this reads like a rant but I'm just recently becoming more at peace with generational differences. I mean you just have to put it into context. Boomers ruled for a long time. Generation Xers were just starting to make some progress in the world and BANG the Millenials hit the  ground running with a completely new digital reality. 

So a bunch of us were born between 1947 and say 1962. We were celebrated as a generation with loose morals and anti-war sentiments. We also thought about mind altering drugs as a way to tune in and turn on man. We were against the status quo and looking for alternative lifestyles. We wanted justice and equal rights. The post World War II period was a time of unprecedented prosperity in the United States. Our parents built homes and bet big time on the American Dream. It spralled and it spawned a lot of us kids who believed in making the world a better place through peace and love. We watched a lot of TV but still made time for our friends.

Fast forward a bit and all of the sudden nearly 78 million of us are reaching retirement age. We aren’t all that happy about it either. Some economic downturns and a lot of sea-change in how business is done makes boomers uncomfortable. Well, let’s just talk about a few businesses that have changed radically as a result of digital media/technology: Photography. Printing. Newspapers. News. Telephony. Well sure we saw it coming for years. It was kind of cute when the generation X’ers started talking about: how film would be replaced by digital media; how news would be more open and free flowing through the constant stream of internet sources on the information superhighway; how conventional news organizations would be trumped by social media and how we’d all have to have smart phones that can do what cameras, newspapers and land lines used to do for us. Xers predicted it. Millenials own it.

OMG we are on the fast track to Squaresville. I mean really daddy-o. The technology is cool and we have apps that help us negotiate even the most routine tasks like grocery shopping and finding the way to that really great new restaurant. Now the Millenials (born after around 1980) are making the X’ers feel tragically un-hip. It’s all so intuitive man. I mean really. Boomers are getting side-swiped daily by hit-and-run digital geeks that suggest that lives are scarcely worth living if we cannot access movie times, restaurants, groceries at the click of a finger. And how un-cool is it to ask just a few close friends when you can ask your peeps online or (better yet) crowd source an even larger pool of people.

Is this really better? Maybe. Maybe not. But we aren’t going back. Sorry Boomers, its not our turn anymore. Step aside old man, I got a killer app for that. It’s called Retro…it’s all in B&W, you’re gonna have to watch a lot of commercials.  

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