As the years whiz by I frequently find myself fondly reminiscing about “the good old days.” I assume it’s one of the natural progressions of the life cycle. I am fully aware of one of the biggest pitfalls of growing older- -glorifying the past. In 1984 Bruce Springsteen released his hit song, Glory Days, on just that subject. However, I believe it is my responsibility as a senile citizen to expose an issue wreaking havoc on society. If this concern isn’t faced head-on and curtailed soon, we, as a civilization, are doomed. At issue is the technological advancement of electronic gadgets and its influence and consequence on Millennials (Generation Y). First, a definition of the different generational nicknames: Traditionalists: Born before 1946– Baby Boomers: 1946 – 1964–Generation X (Gen X): 1965 – 1980–Millennials or Generation Y (Gen Y): 1981 – 2000.
Although I’ve seen and read reports discussing this topical issue, I never seriously gave it much thought until a couple months ago. While waiting in line at the bank, I noticed a gangly, twenty-something young man texting while standing in front of the teller window. I knew he was trouble from the slogan on the back of his t-shirt–”burn calories not oil!” Usually I’m a tolerant person who keeps his mouth shut when irritated by meat-headed strangers or drunks. However, on this particular day I was in a huge rush (there was a college football game coming on and I needed to pick up a six-pack of Heineken and get home before kickoff and in no mood for some pimple-faced narcissist slowing me down).
At first I assumed he was performing a function dealing with his ongoing transaction. When the matronly bank clerk attempted to get his attention, he arrogantly raised his forefinger, abruptly cutting her off in mid-sentence so he could complete his text. I lost it. I stepped closer to the egotistical geek and screamed in his elephant sized ear, “you are a rude, boorish, ill-mannered punk and if you don’t put that piece of crap in your pocket now, I will shove it up your bulbous, Bozo-like nose!” I didn’t really say that, but I was thinking something along those lines. I actually turned to the lady behind me and sarcastically rolled my eyes. Unfortunately she was also texting and missed my silent protest. Yes, I’m a wimp!
I believe it’s the absolute lack of respect for others that bugs me the most (yep, parents, that’s your fault). What could possibly be so important that goofy had to get the message off in the middle of a transaction while six people waited in line? Maybe it was an urgent text informing a fellow slacker that his shoelace broke while he was eating his Grand Slam breakfast at Denny’s. (LOL) Don’t forget to notify your BFF and post a photo on Facebook sharing the large glob of ketchup that landed on your shirt while taking a bite of hash browns. YAI (you’re an idiot!) Fascinating!
So, what’s the answer you ask? I don’t know, I never have a solution for this stuff. I just enjoy complaining about things that aggravate me, and I know are going to worsen. As technology inevitably advances, the Millennials, bless their clueless hearts, will continue to get dumber, ruder and exponentially more annoying as their “toys” become more efficient. In the not too distant future, I predict talking will be obsolete. The iphone 32 will do our communicating for us. I recommend they dub it The Dingleberry!
Pete Whalon, author of “The Siagon Zoo” has called Southern California home since age five.