by Suzanne Reisler Litwin
Maybe I was napping when it happened? Maybe I was working in the garden? Maybe I was writing or teaching or shampooing my hair? I’m not quite sure, but I am damn sure it did happen and I can’t fix it.
What is she talking about?
I’m reluctant to admit this…but it’s true…I fell into the Generation Gap!
Seriously, this sounds so awful and it is! It’s like falling into a pit of spiraling reality of grossness. People my age and a bit younger are suffering from a serious detachment to the 2 dimensional, maybe even the 1 dimensional digital communication age. It’s a detachment that is unwelcoming as I yearn for the “good o’l days” and… there you have it. The true depicter of the GAP! The good o’l yearn!!!! UGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
This is no regular gap. This is a gorge! This is the devil’s door! This is the mother of all grand canyons! This is the beginning of the divide. The divide between me and my youth, me and my children, me and the trending popular culture. Actually, news to the world … I’m NOT TRENDING!!!!
In actuality do I really care? Sort of…no, not really, but I don’t like it one bit. I don’t like asking my children to help me with this. This makes me feel old and I am old now, but not in my mind!! I’m not… I’m not… Seriously, I’m not… O.K! I am.
How do I know this has happened? Well, just about everything I do is considered, in the eyes of my adult children, as being old fashion. Recently my daughter said, “Ma! You have to seriously stop using that thick agenda book! Everything can go into your phone now. Try using it for that.”
I don’t want to. I’m a visual person. I like to see everything in front of me. I like using my pen and paper, I love paper and I love my favourite pens. She continues, “But Ma, it’s so easy to erase and re-schedule, make alerts for important stuff, email, share, etc. You are sooo OFL!” OFL means Old Fashioned Lady or Old Farting Lady or Old F**king Lady. The bottom line is…this is who I am now. More, UGH!!!!!
So, I got a smart phone. It’s fricken smarter than me. My kids told me I need to upload Insta, snap, fb, tweet, waze, and Linkd. I gave them my phone and told them to do whatever all that means. Now I’m expected to send snap stories and add emojies. What? Why? I don’t feel the need to share my life. Hey kids…does anyone know what the word “PRIVACY” means anymore? They don’t and I don’t think they care.
I’m basically a private person, except for my work which I purposely share. Now I feel a pressure to participate in all their personal sharing stuff. So, we have new baby in the family. Pictures of the baby are shared on facebook. I should ‘like’ this and ‘love’ that and comment on all of it too. I need to share this news or I’m a bad Auntie! Any lack of social media participation is a problem as this is the world of the new Millennial Young Parents or MYP.
“MA! Why didn’t you like my new insta pic? MA! Don’t forget to wish your friend and cousin happy birthday on fb. MA! Tweet your articles as soon as they are posted. MA! Tweet, Share, Post, Instaaaaaaaa story your work!”
This all makes me nervous. I can’t keep up with these demands. Oh, how I yearn for the good o’l days! I don’t know how we managed to make plans and get things done without social media. Hey Kids! We did and we grew up and cyber-bullying was on the outside in the air. We selected our words better and we usually meant what was intended to be said. Dialogue had structure then. Now you might need to rely on terms like: LOL, YOLO, TTYL, FOMO, OMG, SMH, and DIY. Meanings for these acronyms can be found at the end of the line – OFL! You know, the end of the line is at the bar where you used to go a hundred years ago!
It happened and I’m in it. It’s the TGV – Tres Grande Vitesse train of how fast it’s developing and changing and where it’s going to take us all. I want to jump ship, but I can’t if I want to ‘share’ my work, be current and even trend.
This is the new platform I am standing on, waiting for the crazy social media train to take me some place into or out of the Generation Gap.
Here are the meanings for the acronyms:
LOL – Laugh Out Loud
YOLO – You Only Live Once
TTYL – Talk to You Later
FOMO – Fear of Missing Out
OMG – Oh My God
SMH – Shake My Head
DIY – Do It Yourself
UGH – UGH!!!!!!!
OFL – Old (you choose the meaning for F ! ) Lady. That’s me…;)
Suzanne Reisler Litwin is an instructor at Concordia University in The Centre for Continuing Education – Communications Department. She is a writing instructor at The Cummings Centre. She writes a weekly column in The Suburban Newspaper and at the West Island Blog. Suzanne is a freelance contributor to The Suburban Newspaper, West Island Blog, Wise Women Canada, The Metropolitain, and Women on the Fence. She is the author of the children’s book, The Black Velvet Jacket. Visit suzannereislerlitwin.com to read more of her published articles, books, and poetry.