There are many things I don’t understand. If I were to list them all – starting with TikTok – my children, and their friends, would mock me for acting in a very Boomer way. By stating this I’m clearly acting in a very Boomer way.
When I say they and their friends would mock, it’s unlikely they’d speak. They would share thoughts on a variety of messaging services. By describing them as a variety of messaging services, I’m reinforcing the Boomer look.
In truth, I’m quite in awe of the ability to post to several different platforms, watch some TV, eat, discern the subtext of what some people buzzing around their friendship groups mean AND learn song lyrics that are playing somewhere on the edge of audibility ALL AT THE SAME TIME. I struggle driving AND talking.
But that’s not why I think young people are incredibly impressive. In the ongoing messed-up contemporary culture wars, kids entered into lockdown with a very bad rep. And by kids I mean those who are old enough to go in and out of the house unaccompanied.
They were frequently dismissed as annoying and entitled snowflakes. The generation who, nose-deep in all manner of brand new, top-of-the-range gadgets, were so cotton-woolled by helicopter parents they were wholly incapable of facing life as it appeared. They’d melt in a storm! Conscript them! Toughen them up!
If we can build a future for them they will be a brilliant, unstoppable force
Then came lockdown. And it has proved that this reductive stereotyping is bunk.