Old people & technology (I mean you 30 year olds)

Published On: Sep 02 2014 09:34:38 AM EDT
Updated On: Sep 02 2014 10:11:01 AM EDT

Image b? robinkaspar

Ok, I'm a bit sick of generational scolds who fear, mock and are actively engaged in condemning younger people because of their technology.

Probably the worst is the idea that younger people are 'disconnected' because they are 'looking at screens' all day long. You know, therefore they are uncommunicative and not making personal contact.

What utter bull****. And its an ubiquitous refrain.

They aren't uncommunicative or disconnected. They are the most communicative and connected generation in the history of this species. They just aren't talking to you. They are talking to ten of their friends (or more) simultaneously and coming to consensus, looking at photos videos and posts, and (more importantly) fact checking the s*** out of each other in ways that were literally impossible back when you were slack jawed and drooling in front of the television watching 'Friends' and talking to your brain dead best friend for hours about literally nothing.

When you were told things straight from The Stupid. Like Dogs can smell cancer or Chicks dig a guy who won't take no for an answer, or you can't get pregnant if having sex while standing up, you just had to take it on faith. Now you can google it.

So while kids today aren't talking directly to you, they are also not being told mind numbingly stupid things that they can't look up.

Also, what do you want to talk to them about?

Because you probably aren't even thinking along the lines of their metaphors, allusions or structural jokes.

Most of the richest narrative and literate storytelling that happens in the world today happens within the universes completely created for video games and virtual experiences that you simply don't have any familiarity with.

Last year video games outsold total global Hollywood for the fourth year in a row.

And it doesn't use the same storytelling format. In fact the format for telling a story isn't even the same thing as your standard television and movie script anymore. Its a hundred times more complex and interactive.

If you don't know about Skyrim, World of Warcraft, Grand Theft Auto, God of War, Raccoon City, the Umbrella Corporation, or a million other characters, story lines, plots, places, seminal moments in video games, then you are literally missing half of all new writing and literature in the world. It is a visual, audio and narrative world that you simply do not have entrance to. Its like being functionally illiterate in the 1950s.

And yet there are no awards locally for this type of writing and literature (and don't feel bad, there isn't any national education on 'transmedia' writing either) There aren't any teachers and most people over the age of thirty have never even heard the word 'transmedia'.

Imagine how you would feel if you and a hundred of your friends were transported to a country where no one could read, none of them had ever heard of television, and most of their time was spent reading bones for omens about the weather. You reckon you would jump right into the bone reading conversations?

Can you FaceTime? Do you Skype?

And you wonder why kids aren't talking to you?

In another 20 years, it won't be the 'uncommunicative' generation sitting around with no one to talk to and nothing to talk about. 

Op-Ed by Stephen Dare

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