Generational Divide

 Generational Divide

By Sean McVeigh

I’m a proud millennial. My parents are baby boomers. The difference between the end of their generation and the beginning of mine is just 15 years — with Generation X bridging the divide.

The other day, my parents were talking about their milkman. Yes, you read that right: milkman. In fact, he lived just across the street from them in Rockaway. When I think of a milkman, I don’t think of my parents or New York City just 30 years ago — far from it, both in time and distance. Now that might be an extreme example of how life has changed but it sure got the thinking juices flowing.

The “home” phone, AKA the land line, is quite possibly the most obsolete item in the boomer household today. The gallbladder of the house, if you will. You may still have a DVD player in your house (the appendix, maybe?), and I would argue the home phone is more useless. Yet, every time you fill out a doctor’s office form, there is always a line asking for your house phone number. I suppose just in case you are one of those people that never looks at their cell phone while at home. Not even boomers can relate to that. That’s Greatest Generation stuff.

The home phone is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the technology gap. Millennials like to say we were not born with technology, but we grew up with it. We are the last of a dying breed who knew a time before the technological revolution. Growing up with tech has definitely given us a leg up. I know you boomers try your best, but sometimes it’s hilarious. Other times, however, it’s inexcusable. One trend I’ve noticed of late is a boomer’s lack of ability to hang up on a cell phone. When the conversation is over, they just put the phone down. If I don’t hang up on my end, we might be connected forever. Oftentimes, a phone call will end, and I can still hear them talking to themselves or someone else as they have no idea they are still on the phone. This has not ended badly yet, but it is just a matter of time. “Ok, bye, Sean … That’s exactly why he’s my least favorite son!”

You know something I have never done in my entire life? Balance a checkbook. My mother, God bless her, loves to balance her checkbook. I think it’s like a crossword puzzle or Sudoku for her. I know she’s not alone. I hate to break it to all the other checkbook balancers out there, but you’re wasting your time. It’s all done for you right in your bank app!

The United States Postal Service is not the apple of Rockaway’s eye these days. My gripes do not run very deep, though. They can’t mess things up for me if I don’t use it! Snail mail is slowly going the way of the dodo bird. Very few things that come in the mail are important. Anything that is — a wedding invitation, for example — is easily identifiable. The rest is usually nonsense! If you still use snail mail to pay or receive bills, please, give me a call and I’ll help get you set up online. My cousin even got her high school acceptance the other day by email (Go Clippers!). I’m sure they sent an acceptance letter afterwards, and I’m also sure she didn’t care. For the most part, if mail I receive is not clearly marked from someone I know, I won’t even open it. If it’s that important, I trust whoever it is will get in touch with me another way. I just hope they don’t try to call my home phone though.

All joking aside, I was born a millennial, but I think I’m truly a boomer at heart. Parts of the generation gap may be wide but there are some long bridges out there and plenty that we can all relate to. At least we’re all not Generation Zers! And I don’t have to worry about any of them seeing this because they don’t know what a newspaper is.

Related post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *