We’ve all heard it or experienced it. Grandparents (or parents) who complain about new lingo, don’t know how to use Facebook, or send spammy forwarded WhatsApp messages thinking if they forward it to 100 people their phone won’t get hacked. It’s a struggle that I call “Keepin’ up with the Generations.” Millennials are already experiencing it with TikTok. Heck, I am one of them.
After months and months of complaining and mocking the use and purpose of TikTok, I found myself making an account over the holidays during our first quarantined Christmas. And I GET IT. I TOTALLY GET IT. The jokes about Tik Tok being an educational platform are so valid. From side hustles to hacks on how to get your sense of taste temporarily back with a burnt orange if you have Covid, the videos are endless and entertaining too. And all the chatter about foreign countries having all your data or info, let’s face it — they probably already have it or have other ways of getting it. Privacy regulation is a whole discussion for a different post on a different day.
But back to the main topic — all my months of protesting against the social media platform (all while being a digital media professional) made me feel like such an idiot. This is EXACTLY the type of behavior and protest older people do with technology. And they are the same people who end up posting a Facebook status update for the world to see asking their cousin Sally how their blood pressure is now.
The point is in order to function in this world of continuous tech advancement and not be reliant on a younger gen Z’er or your nephew “who knows computers” we must encourage ourselves to be comfortable with the unknowns and teach ourselves. Fifteen years from now, I don’t want to be the mom asking my teenage daughter how to use whatever new device there is or how to use some new platform or app that I dragged my feet on. Yes, learning gets harder as you age but the only way to keep our brains sharp and young is to try to learn something new from time to time.
We have even more information at our disposable than previous generations, and for future generations the amount may be infinite. But to keep ourselves competitive against ourselves and the “youngsters” we must start conditioning ourselves now to be open-minded and willing to be comfortable with whatever is new. And this logic could apply to so many different aspects of life, even outside of technology.
Onwards and upwards, my friends!