Is There Still a Generation Gap?
Scooby-Doo Never Goes out of Style
Scooby-Doo for Two?
This topic strikes me as very odd topic as I sit here with my nine year old daughter watching the new Scooby-Doo movie.It’s a new story, one even with live actors, but I instantly recognize those same five goofy characters that I grew up with as a child back in the seventies, as they dash across the screen.The screen zooms in on Scooby whom makes a terrorized face and bolts off the screen, I can’t help but smile.Scooby never goes out of style, never grows old and never stops making me laugh.My nine year old begins to laugh along with me. “What generation gap?” I ask myself.
Generation gaps are becoming a thing of the past.I am a forty year old man watching Scooby-Doo, my IPod in hand, my phone momentarily quiet as it waits for the next text message to awaken it, and that is never a long wait. I even have a Rock Band guitar within reaching distance should the need arise for me to want to shred some imaginary strings.I can’t help but laughing, that sounds like the description of the teens hanging out in houses throughout the world, kids half my age.
But technology is not just for teens anymore, last night I took some neighbor kids for an outing and when we arrived at their home I visited with their parents for a few moments. The whole time their dad was engrossed in a video game, hard at work at ridding some imaginary world of a terribly foul looking beastie.I did not recognize the game but recognized the concept instantly; the basic storyline was the same I played as a kid seeming like only the characters had changed.I paused a moment to look at the man of the house.Dad had worked all day, and this was his wind down time. He would relax for a while as the frustrations and anxiety of the day were slowly released from his shoulders and stomach. The whole time his young son sat next to him, giving him pointers as he battled away.“What generation gap?” I find myself thinking again.It doesn’t exist…does it?
As I write this one of my friends from high school dings me on Facebook, a little computer alarm telling me I have a message.Unfortunately I haven’t seen this guy in ages, because he lives on the other side of the country.We chat for a few minutes online talking about what I made for dinner.I tell him I am working on something and will get back with him.It’s easy to find each other, now after all the ages, I just have to check out the website my children are using to socialize with their friends when they are supposed to be cleaning their rooms.I have over one hundred and fifty friends between the ages of fourteen and eighty years.Some are from church, some from school, some are from previous places of employment, and some are even from the far reaches of the globe.
There is one undeniable fact about Facebook: all are equals, everyone has their say, and you choose wheatear or not to read it, and if you so feel the desire you may respond to it.I have heard of kids seven or eight having pages on Facebook, I think it’s too young because of the sometimes dangerous people who slither their way around the internet looking for young victims.
What about away from home?For years there has been teen to elderly drivers on the roads, men and women of all ages vie for the same jobs.Even in the coffeehouses around the country it is not uncommon to find people of all ages chatting and texting away.Those who are alone are in constant contact with the world though their laptops, IPods, or phones.It is rare to have someone simply having coffee anymore.The only times that people are truly separated by age anymore is in a government mandated separation, kids may not go into bars, one of the most obvious examples.
So with various generations intermingling in games, locales, and hobbies they are actively destroying current generation gaps.My generation grew up with video games, cable TV, and Walkmans, it’s only natural that IPods, laptops, and X-Boxes are common place in their homes, where kids are just as fluent or maybe even more so then their parents in their use.We know names like “Halo”, “Katy Perry” and “WiFi” just the same as we knew “CD”, “Madonna”, or “Nintendo” back in the eighties.
If you ask someone if they like “Nickleback”, they would respond with a yes or no.It is no longer an age of “Who?” but an age of name recognition.Names like “Coca-Cola” and “Hershey” have taught us that with a name comes quality.If someone or something is important, you will recognize it right away.Now there are always new names being added to the fold.Some will fade quickly away into obscurity while others will become household names, that everyone regardless of age will know, every generation knows “Microwave” whether or not you use one.Just like everyone knows what a “PC” is.We are allowed to enjoy these wonderful items together, whether or not they are a person, a place or a thing.
Although to every rule there is exceptions, and there are two noticeable exceptions here.The first one is the “older” crowd, those who were adults during the late seventies and early eighties.The older you get the less likely you are to recognize these people, places or things.A sixty year old may know the name “Daughtry” but it would be unlikely that they would be able to name one song he sings.At eighty most won’t be even able to even recognize the name.
The second exception is the extremely poor, they might recognize the names, but would not have any idea about products and places do to the lack of finances to be able to experiment with them, although these people would be pretty evened out in each age generation because there is poverty during all ages of life.
So the only true generational gap is in those who are of the “older” crowd, but total generational gaps are leaving, being replaced by a younger, more tech experienced generation. As these technological items are becoming more common place within our society people who do not understand or use the products begin to leave the social network of our society.
Those of us who embrace this new technology are introduced to a wealth of knowledge that has previously been denied to most people.We listen to Rock and Roll or Country, and find ourselves adding Bruno Mars to Michael Jackson, or the Beatles.We find ourselves playing WiiSports and downloading Super Mario Brothers to share the old title with our kids.Our tablets are filled with the newest thrillers and oldest classics which have fallen into public domain.The only thing separating us from each other is our actual age.
So as I laugh one last time at Scooby as he runs away from the ghostly creature, I remember these are the things, the things I chose to do with my kids, which are closing the gaps within our home and bringing my family closer together.I might just have to pick up a guitar and challenge the kids to one of our home jam session……game on.