Boomers vs. Digital Natives

               You know the brackets for the various named generations fluctuate depending on who’s doing the categorizing. I think we can go with the Bellamy Brother’s definition of “Kids of the Baby Boom.” If you didn’t watch John Kennedy die one afternoon, you’re not a Boomer. And according to the Internet – and my sourcing of this is telling (see below) – if you grew up with the Internet, you are a “Digital Native.” My kids are not this. They we’re all born pre-1995. They just might be able to rescue both DN’s and Boomers.

               The difference between the two is like the joke about the difference between cats and dogs. The dog thinks: My owner feeds me, houses me, plays with me, and loves me. He must be god. The cat thinks my owner feeds me, houses me, plays with me, and loves me. I must be god.

               Boomers, or at least this one, are continually amazed on what they can find on the Internet. You want to read an epistle of a church father, how about the short story the “Monkey’s Paw”? It’s on the Internet. You don’t know how to compute compound interest, compare interest rates, or the amount of top soil to cover 300 square feet? Go to the Internet old man. It’s there. You want to find out what happened to John Smith from the 50’s western “Laramie”? The Internet will tell you more than you want to know. You want to find out how to break down your 1911 .45 caliber pistol (It’s embarrassing but I forgot.)? The Internet can ‘save’ you.

               You get why I used ‘saved’? That’s right. I sometimes find myself thinking of the Internet in terms of the omni’s that only rightly belong to God. So, I’m the dog. The Internet must be god.

               Of course, that means the Digital Natives are cats. I hear this hubris in them. They can find absolutely anything they want to know, i.e. they can know everything and anything. Ergo, they must be god. Who knows more then they do? A Boomer like me who isn’t native to anything digital? Their parents? Their teachers? No, they think because they have all of this information at their fingertips, at the command of their voice, or in their digital world, they don’t need to rely on anyone for guidance. Sure maybe some Internet influencer, a creator of groundbreakinging technology, or an app that “everyone” is using gets their props. But their parents? They don’t deserve it. They get the distain of the cat not even the loyalty of a dog.

               Yup, in this our “Brave New World” it’s not the State as much as Big Tech that is raising kids. As soon as practicable plug those kids in. Hook them up to the streaming information, pictures, games, opinions, worldviews, and assumptions.

               How could this go wrong? See the 1968 episode of “Star Trek” entitled, “And The Children Shall Lead”. This show isn’t for kids, and this warning isn’t either.

About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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