The term ‘generation gap’ is thrown about as a reason for almost everything ranging from voting for Trump to not liking pop music But what is this generation gap? Has it always been there? How did it come about? The generation gap signifies changes in lifestyle, everyday habits and mindsets.
Till the 1800s it was present yet “a son was most likely to have a lifestyle similar to his father’s” (howstuffworks.com) owing to stagnant conditions without any major innovations. Yet posy-industrialisation, and through the influence of changes in the medical field, the generation gap became more prominent. People lived longer, enjoyed luxuries such as electricity – something their parents might not have had. My parents had access to one television channel, namely Doordarshan, in their childhood whereas I, born in a post-liberalisation India, had access to way too many to count.
As we progress, every subsequent age group also has a generation gap of sorts. 14-15-year-olds are much more confident and in control of their lives than I was at that age, maybe this is the generation gap or me contrasting them with my lazy, indecisive self. Yet the fact remains that someone even 6-7 years older than you would not be able to relate to some of your habits. The term ‘generation gap’ has come under usage recently because of the gap between the thinking of the so-called Baby Boomers, those born approximately between 1946 and 1971, and the Millennials.
The Millennials have a much-debated about the birth time period, but it can be placed between the late 1970s and early 2000s. Workplace irritation and animosity has arisen as a result of rifts between the increasingly technology-driven Millennial and the more traditional Baby Boomer. Millennials are branded lazy and entitled while Baby Boomers are stagnant and stubborn.
Yet as is in the case of most things, the generation gap has given rise to some heartwarming moments. Be it teaching your grandmother how to work the cellular phone, or listening to your dad’s 80’s pop collection, we’ve all wondered how life would’ve been in a different a time. And after all, to understand and to empathise is to be human. So the next time the generation gap kicks in, maybe your Mom is despairing at the prevalence of crop tops, or you can’t find it in yourself to appreciate the finer moments of an Amitabh-Bachchan movie, I hope that you remember to share this article on Facebook – the true social media bridge between the Generations*
(a plea for cross-generational understanding or one for self-promotion – keep on guessing)