The Generation Gap
My daughter announced the other day that her first anniversary is coming up. First anniversary of what! She’s only 19, when I asked her what she was talking about, she looked a little hurt and then a lot disdainful as she replied ” Neil and me are going out a year,, duh”. She didn’t actually say “duh”, but it was implied. And it doesn’t stop there, they have big plans. Big soppy, drippy romantic plans, involving, scrapbooks, photos, etc. Ah!! My eldest son is the same, 3 years with his current wonderful girlfriend and 4 with the previous one. He’s only 24, so many years of drippy romantic blah. I’ve no idea where he got it from, his father is definitely not a romantic and I’m pretty sure I’m not overly so.
When I was their age, here it comes, none of my relationships lasted that long. Oh I fell in love, body and soul, teenage love, but it never really lasted. I hated the clinginess and worse the pedestal placing. I got to getting sick of them fairly quickly, well ok nearly straight away. Maybe I just liked the idea of being in love, but couldn’t handle the reality of it. I think my longest was eight months, and that was only because we lived 5000 miles apart. I think I was more interested, in meeting lots of people and having lots of new experiences, than being shackled to one person and doing the same things with the same people, over and over. Maybe I was a little worse than most, but I think that was my generation, am I wrong.
So why is it this way, why are they in such a hurry to grow up and belong to one person. Teens today have a much harder time of it than we did, I’m convinced of that. Being a teenager in the 70’s and 80’s was a lot simpler. Oh sure we had our concerns, the cold war was raging and that brought uncertainty, and then of course there was the Skylab which disintegrated and fell to earth in 1979. I was convinced it was going to land on me, and yes the world did revolve around me back then. Of course it didn’t occur to me that it was pretty big and it probably would hit more than me, in hindsight. The world was a much bigger place back then, and despite that not as scary.
The internet has shrunk our world, and brought it all into our homes. Everything is at a hands reach, places, people and experiences. And never has there been such pressure to conform. Teens and young adults are being constantly bombarded with what to wear, say, think and listen to, maybe being with one person is a comfort, safety and belonging in an internet world.
A pet peeve of mine, as I segue into a rant is text speak and modern phrases that are peppering social media sites. The first time I received a text full of text speak from a friend, it took me half an hour to work out, she was asking if she could call for a cup of coffee. Maybe she was just very bad at it. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, recently announced they’d agreed to a conscious uncoupling, what the hell, separate like everybody else in the same situation. And then last week, my daughter told me one of her facebook friends had just announced she was polyamorous, what that, maybe she’s bisexual, I thought, nope wrong, it means she has lots of partners, at the same time, Mmmmmm, Yep, we had a word for that and it wasn’t polyamorous. And anyway, why would you tell the world that.
So I guess congrats to my daughter and her lovely boyfriend, but don’t forget to be a teenager and have a ball, that’s what it’s for. There’ll be time enough for everything being an adult brings, don’t be in too much of a hurry to get there.