- I have become addicted to technology.
- It really affects my joints because I sit hunched all of the time.
- I am adapting to it.
- Kids can get into more trouble.
- We won’t be social anymore.
- It can distract me.
- I have to force myself to put it away.
- It always came natural to me.
- Information is easily accessible.
- It’s not always completely reliable
After discussing the implications of these statements, students came to realize that some of these problems have always existed (getting into trouble, being easily distracted) while others are becoming unique challenges for their generation.
Finally, it was amusing to me to see them realize and criticize what they perceived to be adult fears and fumblings with technology. One student laughed with bewildered disbelief when he described to us how his father still struggles with email. Another student came to this conclusion:
Why is it that ... so many other adults are unable to grasp the use of technology? Is it because it’s harder to learn for older people or they just don’t want to? I personally believe it’s because they don’t want to. They learned there system and they don’t want to change it because if they stepped into new technology it would be stepping into uncertain waters. That would mean they’d have to learn all over again and I think that a lot of them are scared. Because there 7 year old grandchild knows how to use a computer better then them. They don’t want to show that a small child can outsmart them at something that seems so simple.
This seems to be the new generation gap, and it's just getting broader every day. The old cry: "They just don't understand me," is true in a new way now. And, our efforts to bridge the gap are more important than ever. If we don't try, the opportunity will pass us by even more quickly than for past generations.