Friday, February 12, 2016

The most transformational generation?

When i think about my generation I can't help feeling that we've gone through more transformational change them any since the industrial revolution. But then it's my generation so I'm always going to think we've done more in a greater way.

The technology revolution or Internet revolution - call it what you will - completely transformed my age group.

When I think back to University, it was the first time people had an email address; now, with the likes of Slack, we're trying to make email superfluous. It was a time when people still had a choice about getting a mobile phone or not. Now it's a necessity with the only choice being which type we opt for.

I was listening to my iPod classic the other day and Del Amitri 'Nothing Ever Happens' came on. I remember first playing that on vinyl before vinyl disappeared and is now making a reappearance. The line 'the needle returns to the start of the song' completely identifies with an almost forgotten era.

My generation has lived practically two lifetimes (and I'm only 40) and we've had to adapt to a pre and post internet reality. We could almost be defined as the versatile generation.

I watch my son now in complete astonishment. Aged 6 months, he's obsessed with a touch screen to such an extent that when I read a book to him (you know the ones made of paper) he tries to press and swipe the pictures. The concept of a still image completely alien to him.

I can't help but wonder what changes he'll see in his lifetime. Autonomous vehicles, virtual reality becoming the new reality, orbit smashing planes taking him from London to Sydney in 4 hours.

Perhaps I'm wrong, perhaps he'll just adapt to the changes as my age group did. Perhaps in reality dealing with change is something humans have a natural, if sometimes untapped, gift for. Perhaps my generation is not so transformational after all. Perhaps it's all just a constantly evolving cycle.

Perhaps I'll just watch from the sidelines in awe as my son grasps with these new technologies and challenges, conquering them with ease while I struggle like Bambi coming to terms with the concept of ice (kind of how my mum is now with surviving a surf online).

One thing's for certain, I never felt amazement like I have witnessing my son develop and I've no doubt he'll continue to amaze me as time marches on. I just hope I can keep up.

There's me an incredibly proud father reminiscing about the past, trying to come to terms with the present and excited yet nervous about embarrassing myself for the future.

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