by Oluwatofunmi Akindele.
The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary gives one of the definitions of GENERATION as “a group of people born and living during the same time”. Generation also simply refers to a race; kind; family; breed; stock. A discussion on generation cannot be limited to the lineage of a particular family, and definitely not on children yet unborn. A generation can be as expansive as we choose our minds to be.
A recent trip to Wikipedia made me abreast of certain facts on generations. We actually have a list of generations! However, this list is limited to the Western World and if I may be permitted to quote from Wikipedia, Western World can be taken to mean North America, Europe, South America, and Oceania.
First, we have the LOST GENERATION which describes those born between 1883 and 1900. These ones experienced World War I. Second is the GREATEST GENERATION (aka G.I. GENERATION). Why does that remind me of G.I. Joe? And I digress… So, this generation includes the veterans who fought in World War II born from around 1900 through 1924. Then, there is the SILENT GENERATION (aka the Lucky Few) born from approximately 1925 until 1942. It includes some who fought in World War II, most of those who fought the Korean War and many during the Vietnam War. Oh boy, am I lucky I was not born in this generation of “fighters”. No wonder, they are silent. War is never fair. Moving on, we have the BABY BOOMERS. These were born following World War II generally from 1946 up to 1964, a time that was marked by an increase in birth rates. Then, we have the GENERATION X from the early 1960s to the early 1980s. Also, there is the generation referred to as the MILLENIALS (aka the Millenial Generation or Generation Y) with birth dates ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. However, the cohorts of people born after the Millenials have no agreed name or range of birth dates. It is debated that the range could be from the mid-late 1990s or early 2000s with various ending dates. Some even suggested 2025. A common name for this generation is given as GENERATION Z but the term GENERATION ALPHA has also been equally suggested.
So, what generation do you fall into?
Nonetheless, these theories have only just attempted to categorise us according to our years of birth. I very well intend to expose to us the two lists of generations based on our adaptability to change. They are:
- The Generation Habilis; and
- The Generation Social Media
The specie ‘Habilis’ is self-explanatory and I do not think we need to go Biology 101 or Geography for Beginners to start introductions. The Generation Habilis are the group of people who believe that anything related to social media is young-ish. Just as we know that the man Homo Habilis is a step behind the man Homo Sapiens, so also is this generation a step behind change, especially social change.
Generation Social Media (GSM for short), 90% of the world population, I believe fall into this category.
Everyone, everything, everywhere is swamped into this new age of technological advancement. A number of programmes written and perfectly weaved together, and you are either in or lost. An example is a demographic survey taken in 2015 with Facebook having 72% of adult internet users and 62% of the entire world population.
Day in, day out, we are swept in and out with talks and notes on the various advantages and disadvantages of the social network age. Some say it is distracting and a very easy way to perpetrate crime. While some pro-activists of the social media campaign maintain that it is an indispensable tool for fast and easy communication, advertisement and marketing and socio-interactions of all kinds.
God knows, I’m not willing to dabble into the debate of the pros and cons of the social networking age. I know we are all fully aware of that, even more than I may know.
Generation Social media, not being social at all
Media is plural for medium and medium primarily means an agency or means of doing something. When it comes to TV/Radio, medium refers to the means in which information is disseminated. In this context then, social media means the agencies or the various means with which information is disseminated to the society. How then would we describe a generation which encourages social media but do not know how to be social with one another?
All forms of communication are directed online, but physical contact now becomes Jurisprudence. Ever heard the saying, “Lion online; Sheep offline”? If you never did, do not worry, I invented it. So, you aren’t socially backward yet. You read people spewing out lines upon lines, precepts upon precepts online, especially Nigerian twitter users but once they are offline, they become a little here, a little there. They become what I like to call Jurisprudence…Lost.
I do not want to believe Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Kevin Systrom and the host of them designed and birthed their respective genius ideas so as to make us physio-socially dumb. I would guess it was to actually encourage and enhance our inter-personal relationship skills.
I also believe there are lessons we can learn from the different social media. Facebook would ask what’s on your mind. It would not hurt to actually ask friends and family for what was going on through their minds and lives. On the other hand, you can learn to carefully select the right words to say to people and at events if you regularly go on twitter. It is not a crime to talk to people face-to-face and let people see our real expressions, Skype teaches us that. Which other online media? Anyone care to help? Whatsapp…ask the question “what’s up?” and do wait to get the response.
Generation Social Media and its rape on sapiosexualism
I heard the word ‘sapiosexualism’ for the first time very, very recently and I took a red-eye to google. Sapiosexualism just simply means attraction to or sexual arousal by intelligence and its use.
Welcome to Generation Social Media where intelligence is constantly ripped of dignity. You read certain comments online and you wonder where every shred of intellect went on vacation to. I am definitely sure we must have heard the saying “smart phones; stupid people”.
I believe all humans are intelligent, not intelligence limited to academics. Intelligence comes in different forms. So says the Multiple Intelligence Theory. So, it would be stupidity to limit intelligence to just university degrees. I digress again.
Would it be permissible to ask if the social media is robbing its generation of its attraction to intelligence? Birds of the same feather, it is often said that they flock together. Also, it is said that like minds attract. It would then imply that intelligence would attract intelligence one way or another, hence, the term sapiosexualism. It is however a disheartening norm that there has been a constant rape on the attraction to intelligence. Several statements, various photos and different files are uploaded and viewed online (social and television), and the Generation Social Media are pulled into this virtual world which in turn affects rational thinking, I suppose.
Social relationships and intellectual intercourse are both pros and cons of social media. It however seems that the cons take prominence. I stand corrected though.
Feature Image from stuartjdavidson.com
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