I had to wait in line at the post office last week. That always happens when I’m in a hurry. Perhaps you know the feeling? Unfortunately, I left my phone in my car and had to pass time the old fashioned way. While I was impatiently waiting, I overheard two older gentlemen talking about the younger generation and their use of technology.
“Kids these days,” one man said. “They can’t even count back change. They are always on this twitter thing and I just think all this technology isn’t good.”
His friend was listening, nodding and, I assume, agreeing with his words. They went back and forth for several minutes. They had to have known that I was the youngest in the post office and I know they saw me as I was standing directly in front of their view. This leads me to believe the following:
- I’m no longer in the younger generation and they assumed me to be a “safe” subject.
- I might still fit in the younger generation but I have no phone in my hands so I’m not one of those kids.
- They brought up the subject and spoke louder to send me a message.
- They could care less.
I think it was d.
These guys were kind men and they had good intentions, but I so badly wanted to turn around and politely say, “You’re wrong.”
Don’t worry, I didn’t say a peep. But here’s how I know that their words aren’t completely correct.
I was once in their shoes. At 33 years old I have already played the generation card which basically means I’ve blamed the younger generation for messing up this world. I’ve actually been doing it for years without intention.
When I started my online magazine nearly three years ago, I thought for sure our team could make it a huge success. We all had a strong media background. We’re different than the people who just start a website with no degree or fancy title to claim. And we definitely had an edge on the younger crowd; the ones right out of college with no real world experience.
I was wrong.
But I graduated with a broadcast journalism degree. I spent years in the television business. I’ve also been given the honor to write to you fine folks for nearly four years. Shouldn’t I have an edge up? Don’t I know all there is to know about the media?
Ask my fantastic Kearney Hub editor if that’s true. He is likely editing this sentence at this very moment. Here’s the real truth. We all need to learn from each other to form a perfect world.
It’s important to be humble and ask for help. It took me three years as a business owner to recognize this fact. I’m learning from others and taking advice from someone 10 years my junior and 30 years my senior. And I hope in the process they can learn a little from me, too.
What can you learn from your kids or grandkids? What can they learn from you? One way isn’t necessarily better than the other. If we collaborate and teach generations before and behind, there’s a good chance we’ll all know how to count change now and well into the future.