Generation Gap: History vs Modernity

Generation Gap

Nintendo 64 never grows old for me and my cousins. It never goes outdated, obsolete, or out-of-date. I just came from a bonding session with my cousins earlier tonight playing all sorts of video games – MarioKart, Mario Party, Smash Brothers, NBA Courtside, Star Fox, and my favorite, James Bond 007.

These games never grow old for us, and we do not feel like we’ve aged one bit when our fingers find their way to wrap themselves around the three arms of the controllers. Suddenly we feel like we’re eight again. Oh, the good times.  Eight years old, simple, carefree, and young.

Age Difference

I look at the times now and I see that there is a great disparity with the enjoyment of children. During my time (as a child, 6-12 years old), I consider myself as a typical Generation Y kid: my eyes were always glued to the television – staring in awe at the marvelous strategies I was able to come up with to kill and win over my enemies in different video games, hence the Nintendo 64 obsession. I can play alone or with my brothers and cousins. Either way, I remember I always emerged victorious. 🙂

Our parents (Generation X) did not have this kind of technology yet, and I believe that the games they play during their time are the hopscotch (“piko”), the “Patintero”, the “Taguan”, the “Tumbang Preso”, and other outdoor games that require all players to sweat and get dirty while playing.

Now, the sports of our parents are already nearing extinction. Most children now do not even know them anymore. My Nintendo 64 has also been replaced already. Newcomers are the Wii, and those Facebook and other online games. Mafia Wars, FarmVille, Café World, Restaurant City, and many, many others, have taken the place of the games we all used to love.

In today’s generation, a child may be able to “play” just by sitting in front of the computer all day – not even having a ray of sunshine hit his or her skin because he or she is just inside the house.

Differences in Age

I have tabulated the differences among the three generations according to my experience and observations 🙂

Others may consider some as hasty generalizations, but still, this is what I think of the generational differences 🙂

GENERATION
Type of Games
Playmate/s
Sunlight (being outdoors)
How to be proclaimed “winners”
Kids turn out to be:
Gen X (our parents)
Mostly outdoor
Required
Limitless
The sweatier or dirtier, the better?
Physically fit
Gen Y (us)
Emergence of video games, outdoor games still exist
The more the merrier
Much
Being able to shout “in your face” at your opponent when you win
Either 🙂
Gen Z or iGen (children now)
Mostly indoor (video games, online games), outdoor games very rarely played
Not necessary, you can play games alone
Almost zero to none
When you beat the default high score registered in the computer
Obese?

This is where the New Social Media come in

With the emergence of the new social media, most children now stick to their computers like glue. They spend a great amount of time online to play games on the Internet.

The NSM made the children forget how it is to have fun playing outdoor games and sweating in the sun with the friends one will treasure forever.  The NSM provided new avenues for children to “be children” using the modern technology. In Facebook alone, as the number one social networking site globally, there are hundreds of applications and games that one can play.

Organizations’ generation gap

Organizations are like these children. The ones who strictly abide by tradition belong to Generation X, the ones who put aside history and focus on modernity are Generation Z, and the ones that are able to equalize the “past” and the “future” are the Generation Y.

As what I can see now, my generation is the “transition” generation. We have a little bit of both the outdoor games and the online games. My childhood would not have been complete without the memories of sweating like crazy and controlling my heavy panting with difficulty while hiding from the “it” or the “taya” in hide and seek. My memories are also filled with happiness upon the recollection that I enjoyed playing Mafia Wars and Plants vs Zombies on the Internet. My generation has a little of both – we have the best of both worlds.

The same should go with organizations. The ones who stick with the old-fashioned, conventional means might not be able to adapt – bringing them to extinction. On the other hand, the organizations who have overlooked the greatness of the traditional social media, or simply let themselves be devoured by the modern, the new, and the advanced technology have “missed half of their lives” (as we often put it) – they will never know the other kind of greatness.

I believe that organizations must learn to be like the children of Generation Y (that’s us!). They must learn to have the old and the new balanced. In this way, they will have the best of both worlds. It’s win-win all the time! 🙂

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2 Responses to Generation Gap: History vs Modernity

  1. Karen says:

    I like this post, Jeca! I like how you started the discussion with the effect of technological advancements on the playing habits of the different generations then went on relating such discussion with the same kind of generation gap in organizations.

    I know this is some kind of unsolicited statement, but I just had to say that I think OUR generation is very lucky. Why? Because we had the best of both worlds. There’s some sort of balance. We had a chance to play the traditional way more than half of our lives and now we are exposed to the contemporary ways which are slowly changing the way we do things.

    I know both the older and younger generations are lucky in their own respect, but to a certain extent I feel sorry for them. Both generations are only exposed to the extremes in the “playing the traditional way -playing the contemporary way” and the “conventional organizations – new breed of organizations” continuum, and I can surely say that they missed a lot.

    Now what’s the bottom line? I think balance is really necessary. I think the older generation and the younger generation should also have a taste of the ‘other’ end of the continuum. In other words, the former should be exposed the new ways and the latter should not just content themselves with what they have now — I believe that the younger generation should also experience traditional ways of doing things every once in a while. I know this might be hard for both generations, but they should try to do just this every chance they get. Why? Because I believe that the only way we could bridge the generation gap (especially in organizations) is by letting them have a taste of what it’s like to be in the other end of the continuum.

  2. One thing that I remember Sir said is that changemakers must not treat the organization and it’s old blood as enemies or rivals, but rather people who they can learn from in enacting this so called positive change.

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