Coming back home from university after taking 6 hours of class on Sunday, I usually grab my smart phone, turn on the 4G, and lay my legs on the table in the TV lounge. Intentions are going on Facebook, checking the news feed to get in touch with what has actually happened throughout the day’. On a sofa placed next to me, there is usually my dad, looking at me and trying to understand as to what actually I am trying to find out in such a small device!
Why dad? Did I stare you like this when you were busy reading newspaper in the morning? Did I ask what you were trying to find out in those few pieces of papers? No. They call it the generation gap.
Generation gap is basically the difference between what us, the children think and what our parents think, and how they perceive things. Before we even get up completely from our bed in the morning, we check our mobile phones. For me, I check my emails, read news, respond to important calls, messages, read blog article and moreover sometime complete my assignments too. Our parents usually don’t get what actually we are doing, because for them it looks like we are wasting our time. In reality, we are not. Well, not all of us!!
For them, mobile phone, more or less, is only for making calls and reading messages. Meanwhile the technology is so advanced that it is very difficult for the parents, most of them if not all, to understand and get used to it because yes, although they were using computers, typewriters in their era but mostly the gadgets of their age are obsolete nowadays. For them, many a time, it is really hard to use a “touch screen”. They still prefer using button phones and typewriters.
Without any doubt, we learn from our parents/elders because they are very much experienced compared to us. But, nowadays it will not be wrong to say that parents / elders learn from us too, in many ways! When it comes to making accounts on Facebook, twitter, WhatsApp etc., they come to us and ask if we can do it for them!
Well, let’s just not focus on technological issues. Our parents usually disagree with whatever we say or whatever we suggest, but in the end, in most of the cases, they later agree with whatever we have said or suggested. Hmmm ….. may be because we are better decision makers! Differences in opinion may sometimes also cause cold war within a house!
Our parents generally go to a restaurant, picks up the menu card, Rs. 899 for an American steak, WALLAH! Too expensive. Parents usually relate this to their past, like Rs. 899 for just a piece of chicken? They usually say, in our era Rs. 899 they might have bought the whole poultry farm instead.
It’s not over yet; I remember my elder brother got his first phone when he was in 1st year of university, and I got mine when I was in 8th standard. And still at that time I had to seek permission first from my parents to use a computer! Now, my niece she is just 2 years old and, surprisingly, she cannot live without her iPad. She knows better than me how to operate it and I mostly get stuck in the gallery finding poems for her.
When I was a teenager, I usually went out with friends, and spent time playing Cricket, Football, Pakram Pakrai or even Baraf Pani. But nowadays, if children are bored enough, they usually prefer playing Candy Crush on their iPad. Wow!
We, unconsciously, use harsh words, or authoritative tone, while teaching our elders/parents how to use different gadgets. We should probably also expect the same attitude, and get ready to face, from our younger generation!
To minimize the Generation Gap, discussing things with each other is a better option rather than teasing them on what they lack. The older generation should trust the younger generation with their capabilities. Moreover, the younger generation should also learn from the older generation and gain maximum advantage from their knowledge, wisdom and experience.
Till now, by luck, I’ve managed to teach my mother how to use a smart phone and Facebook and how she can stay connected with her friends. Also, she can also take out any kind of information she wants to. SHE IS LOVING IT!
The contributor is an MBA student at IoBM, Karachi.