The Great Generational Divide

Another Friday night home with family (as opposed to whatever the llama normal teenagers do on the weekend).

Somehow it got to the point where my mom, sister, and I were all trying to search YouTube videos on my laptop at the same time. (Hello, people, there’s like four computers in the house. And Codex doesn’t even have grease on the keys yet. Hands off.)

My mom was reminescing about the songs she loved when she was my age. The list included Weird Al and Dr. Demento, a very crude and violently odd parodist from the 80’s.

Then I showed her one of my personal favorite videos– Llamas with Hats.

Let’s compare, shall we?

One of her favorite YouTube videos was a drunk guy singing an Irish ballad about how a woman strangled men with her bra straps, and then how they hung her with the very same bra in the town square.

My video was about a sociopathic llama with a habit of eating hands.

Now I was disgusted by her video, and she was disgusted by mine. She argues mine was a lot more crude– while I argue that hers was more violent. Plus, mine was animated llamas. Without the actual video, it wouldn’t have been too gorey. Some references to death, yes. But if her SONG had had a music video, it would have been ten times more gorey.

So I got a lecture on the ‘clean’ level of YouTube videos I watch, and when I tried to replay the Llamas with Hats (to prove that without the video it’s really not all that violent) she told me she didn’t want to hear it.

Is this a generation-wide thing? I’ve noticed–obviously–that there are differences between this generation and the last. The average teenager of the world is prone to a lot more sensual material, graphic jokes, and Justin Bieber than any time before us. I suppose our sense of humor is affected just as surely as our mindset into such things.

Maybe what was normal in the 80’s isn’t normal now– But the question is whether or not this is a GOOD change or not.

Based on the second-to-last paragraph, the immediate answer is no. Justin Bieber has not proven any sort of benefit to our generation. But with the advances in technology, was this divide between parents and teenagers inevitable? Maybe the gap is just a side-effect of scientific breakthrough, and then who are we to hinder its progress?

I guess all I’m saying is that technology is both a blessing and a curse. I mean, look at us. If not for the internet, it’s quite possible (–remotely possible–) that we might have social lives. We might not have the skin tone of corpses.

Yet look at the bright side. We’re writers in addition to being practically-zombies. How much physical paper have we saved with the invention of Microsoft Word? How many diseases have been cured by scientific advancements? Information is avaliable virtually instantly, on every single subject. The entertainment industry has shifted, and it’s actually viable to make a career on YouTube. (Again, I’m not sure whether that falls under the ‘blessing’ or the ‘curse’ category.)

Our parents (or at least mine) were growing up just as computers were becoming something more than room-large hyperbolic calculators. They didn’t have all this stuff. I wouldn’t say they necessarily worked harder to get where they are (it takes a heck of a lot of effort just to get a job these days, in this market), but they haven’t had the assets of technology that we’ve enjoyed.

I wonder what studying was like in the days before computers. How did you procrastinate? Read a book or something?

I don’t know how this YouTube-video squabble spurred this psychological muse session at one in the morning, but it’s really a significant idea in my opinion.

What do you think? How big do you think the generational gap is? Is it getting smaller or larger as adults are adjusting to social networking like teens? Is technology impacting us positively or negatively?


About Aloha

A teen writer and future world ruler. Llamas make me happy.
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7 Responses to The Great Generational Divide

  1. Olivia says:

    1. I resemble the skin tone of corpses remark. <.<

    2. Wow. How much paper *have* we saved with MS Word? Sure, we still print some of our work, but we're not crumpling each failed sentence and tossing the whole sheet of paper in the trash bin. Now we have the backspace key to forever rid the universe of our horrid first drafts. We don't have to worry about the garbage men stealing our ideas (even if embarrassments to humanity).

    4. Did you notice I skipped three?

    5. That's a good point about procrastination…

    6. Overall, I'd say technological advancements have their pros and cons. My mom says when she was a kid, she and her friends weren't shut away playing video games (or blogging…) all day. They were outside being physically active. Before the invention of the television, most families probably spent more time together actually *talking*.

    Technology definitely has its pluses, though. For one, the internet provides a wealth of information right at your fingertips. It's like being at the world's largest library (only minus that wonderful book smell). As a homeschooler, a great deal of my education comes from trustworthy internet resources. And it sure makes researching novels a lot easier.

    Then there's the medical side of it. Think of all the advancements made in medicine in the last 100 years. If we lived 100 or more years ago, a whole lot of the people in our lives would be dead because of something that's now relatively easy to treat. Maybe we'd be dead, too, or never been born at all.

    All in all, I think technology is a good thing as long as we don't abuse it. And I fear much of society is.

    • Aloha says:

      1) Okay, maybe that was stereotypical. Most of the computer geeks I know do… including myself. Heh.

      I agree with your comment on abusing technology. I think that’s really the heart of the “Good or bad” argument.

  2. Nia says:

    Your video owns, just getting that out of the way.


    Me: *Is mumbling the lyrics to Zydrate Anatomy under my breath*
    Grammy: Drugs! I tell you, all your songs are about drugs!
    Me: Uh-huh. I know that you were just humming Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.
    Grammy: *Blushes*
    Me: *Goes back to mumbling Zydrate Anatomy*


    Me: *Is reading Vampire Diaries*
    Mom: *Looks over shoulder* Nia? Are you sure about that book?
    Me: Whaddaya mean?
    Mom: *Reads* “Your fragile bones… Your soft skin… Your white neck?!”
    Me: Mmhmm. What’re you reading?
    Mom: *Shrugs and hides book under table*


    Me: *Watches Chicago*
    Sis: Ew. *Leaves*
    Dad: *Sits down next to me to watch*

    Me: *Watches Phantom of the Opera*
    Bro: *Raises eyebrows* Violent. *Walks out*
    Dad: *Sits down next to me to watch*


    Me: *Taps at keyboard*
    Grandma: *Reading over my shoulder* “Lilya paused and studied her bloodied childhood friend before tipping her hat to the girl. ‘You’re doing quite well,’ Lilya said softly. ‘Just stay like that and maybe someone will come along and take advantage of you.'” *Turns and looks at me disbelievingly*
    Me: *Blinks* What?
    Grandma: Violent and racy. *Not a compliment* *Wanders off*

    So… *Shrugs* My dad’s awesome. My mom’s pretty good, too. Grammy and Grandma are not used to it yet. ‘Tever. I’m gonna keep doing.

    • Aloha says:

      Some good examples of how the generations have changed…. but maybe not as much as we’d like to believe.

      Phantom of the Opera FTW. I first watched it when I was six… but it scared the heck outta me. Kept seeing the Phantom’s mask in my windows at night.

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