Aug
05
2009

  Generation Gap

I commonly thought of the generation gap only as something that existed between me and people closer to my parent's age. But now I guess we're old enough that there is a second gap with people younger than us.

When Terry and I were first exploring this concept, our test was whether our young friend Dan knew what we were talking about. If he did, no generation gap, if he didn't, then we had hit upon an item of demarcation.

The first one we came up with was whether you knew Jacques Cousteau or not. I bet that Dan did not know about the guy, but Terry thought that was impossible. Possible! Generation gap, right there.

We figured another good one was whether someone was born before or after the first Gulf War, and if they remember the Reagan presidency firsthand. It's sort of the equivalent for us about how older people know all about JFK and the Vietnam war, but we only know about it from history books.

I hadn't given it much thought in a long time, but Matthaeus pointed out another indication of a generation gap. If you use "lol" three times in a text message of only 140 characters, you are not of our generation. That's a good one, since I do notice that friends my own age tend to use more complete sentences, punctuation, etc. when we text or IM. I'm only recently able to bring myself to not capitalize and use proper punctuation with my younger friends, to try to "fit in" (how ridiculous that I'm still aware of little peer social distinctions like that at my age).