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BABY BOOMERS: FROM THE ‘I KNOW’ GENERATION TO ‘IDK’

A ‘One Up’ For The Rest Of You.

Push The Button? I know.

Push The Button? I know.

Hardly a conversation goes by without one person saying, “I know,” in response to everything.

Is this what passes for active listening? A more articulate version of uh huh, uh huh, or yeah right?

Boomers have been the leading offender, but they’re losing ground.

They might say ‘I know’ as much as ever, but the audience knows better by now.

Who is the leader of the ‘I know’ pack today?

Police were called to a local prom where they found minors in possession of alcohol, or MIP.

One officer made the phone calls to parents, who were probably forty-somethings, to come pick up their kids.

These parents are leading edge ‘I know’ people, as in, “I know my child doesn’t drink.”

They also know they don’t smoke weed, do brush their teeth after every meal, and take their vitamins.

They just know. They have to know. If they didn’t know, they’d have to do something. ‘I know’ is their comfort zone.

It used to be baby boomers’ comfort zone. We knew everything first.

Steve Jobs invented the modern world? I know.

Bill Gates is the greatest man on earth doing good things? I know.

Secretary of State Colin Powell reported the truth to the UN on yellow cake uranium? I know. Wait, what?

You can’t know everything in a fast changing world, but at least saying I know helps give the impression of keeping up.

Boomers get upset at the notion that Jack’s not as nimble, not as quick, as he used to be. Don’ t call them old unless you want trouble.

When you hear someone say ‘I don’t know’ what comes to mind? Confusion? I know. Dementia? I know. The first sign of Alzheimer’s? I know.

Probably none of the above. When a boomer says they don’t know, they’re waiting to hear what you know so they can one up whatever you’ve got.

If boomer cop hears GenX mom say her child would never touch alcohol, they should tell a story like this:

“A bunch of high school friends went to their first adult wedding. They were seventeen, the bride and groom were over twenty one.

At the reception the kids found a case of whiskey. Lacking sophistication, they thought all that whiskey meant each of them could have a bottle of their own.

After the predictable results, the guys got a ride to one of their parent’s houses to sober up in the basement. On the way home the driver pushed the wrong button on the push button automatic transmission. Everyone in the front seat landed on the dash. Everyone in back landed in front. They got sorted out and started over.

Before they got to the front door, one of the other kids’ parents drove up in the family car. That kid got it together enough to wander to the car window on his mom’s side.

“Hi Mom. Listen, we came back from the wedding, the wedding we went to and came back from but we’re not doing so good and it’s pretty bad. Okay, so please don’t say anything when you get inside, please, because it’s not for me, I’m fine. Really.”

Then the kid’s mom leaned forward to show the other parents in the back seat.”

Everybody got over the ‘I know’ stage that night.

When was your moment? Or are you still waiting?

If you need to review, saying ‘I know’ too much annoys senior citizens. They raised us. They know we have no clue.

‘I know’ bugs GenX because they think they’re the first to balance family and career.

Millennials know boomers don’t know because we’ve asked them to fix our tech gear too often and they make a big deal out of unplugging things and plugging them back in.

So, when was that moment?

Which Button? I know.

Which Button? I know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About David Gillaspie
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