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Baby Boomers vs Millennials

MobileMillennials[1]Do we baby boomers have pity on younger generations?

Are their problems bigger than the obstacles we faced and continue to face?

 thinks so in her Huffington Post article, “Millennial Problems: 7 Issues Boomers Didn’t Deal With.”

Issues? Obstacles? Problems? And only seven?

We came out of a social upheaval called the Cultural Revolution in the 60’s, ran into Save The World 70’s, and got squeezed into something called the Sandwich Generation.

But we’re also the kind and gentle generation, right? We have empathy.

Modern times bring modern problems, and now a new modern takes over?

If there’s an issue, Boomers work the problem to the best possible answer. If it’s an organic, free range solution, all the better.

Let’s take Millennial’s life obstacles according to Katerina from the top and find solutions the NW Boomer way:

1. Cracked iPhone screens.

If you expected the biggest problem first, and this is it, that might be a problem. Cracked iPhone screen?

A phone plan might include a discount price on a phone and upgrades to the latest rig, but what’s the cost of replacing a broken one?

That’s the problem, or is it breaking a new phone and having to go back to last year’s model? Or is it asking boomer parents to buy a new one for them?

This boomer put two flip phones through the wash cycle because I didn’t take them out of my pocket. No smart phone on the horizon.

2. Helicopter Parents.

Sure we hover, butt in, and take over, but don’t blame us.

Our parents went to war against Nazis, Commies, and us. Did they helicopter in when we had a problem? If they did, they brought in a battle plan, which meant they worked the problem into a whole new problem. No thanks, we’re just fine.

We learned to cave by trying to solve every little problem. Now our kids are depressed and we go to counseling.

3. Slow Wi-Fi.

This one hurts. The only one who doesn’t grind their guts on slow Wi-Fi say a variation of this, “If I can’t talk to someone face to face then whatever we’ve got to say isn’t important enough.”

Boomers have seen enough slow downs to take them in stride. We have enough experience to work around slow Wi-Fi, or at least find someone to blame.

4. The burning temptation to text over dinner.

Our adult children have different priorities at dinner. They learned it from eating with Play Stations and X-Boxes.

Who hasn’t heard, “I’m in the middle of a game. Bring my plate over to me.” This was the beginning of Fat Nation.

Now it’s their smart phone.

Will they ever copy their shameful Helicopter Parents who sit at the table silently for fear of breaking their kids’ concentration? Hush up, now.

5. Broken printers.

How smart is a Millennial is they can’t upload their data to their smart phone, send it to a friend with a working printer, then bike over and pick it up?

What would Boomer do? Upload to a thumb drive and haul it to a copy shop because they can’t figure their smart phone out and don’t want to ask their long suffering children.

No one needs a Helicopter Child? Of course we do, how else do we turn on the TV?

6. Too many modes of communication.

News flash to the young, we Boomers weren’t around for smoke signals, mirror messaging, the Pony Express, or the telegraph.

We were around for the teletype, carbon copies, and punch cards. Don’t forget phones that plug in, party lines, and Oklahoma long distance (another name for yelling.)

During his youthful single years, one boomer said he didn’t have a phone or a car. He had a bike and a small studio apartment big enough for his bed. When asked how he communicated or dated, he said he just walked around his neighborhood, met attractive women, and invited them back to his place. From there it was a binary system. Very modern and old fashioned at the same time.

7. A recession.

This one is dicey. Kids out of college with a ton of debt and living off credit cards is no ones dream of a bright future.

Neither was the recession of the 1970’s where Boomers had limited options of: A. Go to college and collect a ton of debt or, B. Work in a labor intensive field like logging, millwork, or fishing; like coal mines, the trades, or join the Army.

A college degree and a short haircut doesn’t guarantee a direct line to the corner office with a receptionist who brings coffee just the way you like it. Mastering the universe takes a little more.

My two Millennials graduated high school and college and live at home while working and saving money to move out, or looking for work to save money and move out.

The harsh truth is they don’t like living at home in their twenties any more than Boomers would have. As parents, the difference today is we Boomers don’t have a battle plan to help them defeat life’s dilemmas.

All we’ve got is that damn helicopter, a juice box, and a trophy to encourage out little champions to reach for the stars. At least that’s the direction this Baby Boomer blogger takes.

Do the kids like it? We all have a good laugh after the occasional screaming dies down.

How are you dealing with it all, Boomer?














About David Gillaspie
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