Daily Prompt: Generation XYZ

Think about the generation immediately younger or older than you. What do you understand least about them — and what can you learn from them?

As this prompt specification suggests, every generation has its way of doing and saying things. Hence, every Generation is a distinct culture, or a subculture, determined in its styles and fashions by events of world history. This, however, only applies globally since the process of globalization started. No, the way I am thinking about this, this isn’t limited to all the eras postcolonial. The way I am thinking, generations become shorter and shorter with the development of communication and technology, communication technology specifically.

But what I was really thinking when I started out on this post was, that I am unstuck in this whole generation thing. I don’t follow many trends, and those that I do follow have little to do with each other. Take music for instance. Yes, I love music. I love lots of old music. From really old music (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, just to name a few), Jazz, Blues, Rock, Metal, Punk, Funk. I like some modern stuff, that I wouldn’t categorize, but just call “songs”. I love singing, Irish and Scottish Folk songs. My clothes are functional, sometimes elegant, but rarely fashionable, unless by coincident. I don’t own a smart phone (yet), and if I ever do (I will), it will NOT be an iPhone. It’s not that I hate apple. I just think you can get the same (or better) for less money. I own a ChromeOS laptop, imbued with an Ubuntu 12.04 secondary operating system. I’ve gotten quite used to it, but I can still appreciate the Windows’ superior gaming capabilities, though I rarely use them. I am registered on Facebook, I almost got stuck in it, but now I have WordPress, for a more meaningful writing and community experience, with less intrusive commercial ads. I have all the abilities any person of the generation(s) after mine has, but I still adhere to values of which many my grandparents shared as well. I go to the gym, but not for aesthetic reasons, unlike many of my “peers”. I don’t need to, because I just don’t get really fat. And it’s not for lack of trying that I don’t get fat. I eat food for 3000+ kcal/d, and the only weight I gain is from training my muscles. But enough about my body.

 Still, I wouldn’t say I am the best of all generations mixed together. I am also socially somewhat awkward, weird so to say. Some people can deal with that, others can’t. Mostly it’s other weirdos who can deal with that. Consequently, I am also drawn to weirdos, other people who are somewhat unstuck.

One thing I can’t understand about the generation following me is their lack of manners. Yes, that sounds old-fashioned. But really, it’s the little things: saying “bless you” when someone sneezes, and saying “thank you” in return. When I sneeze, and someone says “Bless you” (actually, since I live in Germany, that would be Gesundheit. I know it is rather popular in the US to say Gesundheit instead of Bless You, which leads to the joke about the American tourists who sneeze and consequently mistake the polite German for an American. I digress), I say “Thank you!” in a very surprised tone, since it has become so rare that anyone says it anymore. When someone sneezes in my vicinity, I say “Gesundheit”, and people look at me as if I were from an extrasolar Planet, unless the sneezer themselves are polite, and thank me. I guess the younger generation would record that on their cell phones and upload it to Youtube, getting hundreds of thousands of clicks for (what should be) the most normal thing in the world. What could I learn from them? I constantly learn, from everybody, so I will never become the kind of fossil that kids make fun of because they don’t know how to operate this or that device. I know my body and mind will age eventually, but I want to stave off the ill effects for as long as possible.

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One thought on “Daily Prompt: Generation XYZ

  1. I am just reading Douglas Coupland’s Generation A (after reading his Generation X) … I should be an expert on that now 🙂
    So I should say something about Generation Y – but as you said I don’t feel that there really is that distinct subculture. Since many years I have typically worked with people much younger than me (or better at the beginning they were not much younger than me … but my average colleague I encounter so to speak does not age). This means I am stuck in a parallel work universe that now belongs effectively to the next generation.
    I believe there are factors that are much more important than age when it comes to assigning yourself to a specific part of population or subculture – especially if you have children or not, your hobbies, your sense of humor.

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