Technology in the hands of millenials – pro or con? | Blaise Tapp

Tensions between the generations are nothing new - everybody likes to think that their particular vintage trumps all others.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 5:00 pm
Student protesters striking for climate change action. Picture by Shutterstock

Baby Boomers commonly receive flak for having the good fortune to surf a 50-year wave of soaring house prices, while millennials are mocked for their love of soya lattes and their inability to move out of their folks’ place.

Then there is my tribe, generation X, who don’t have the security of final salary pensions or free bus passes and are no longer able to reap the very many benefits of youth.

In truth, every generation has an important role to play in society and, ultimately, each deserves an equal amount of respect.

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However, there is a genuine argument that the kids of today – generation Z and alpha, those born between 1996 and today, will turn out to be the most accomplished, not to mention the most important generation yet.

Ask any parent of school-age children and they will tell you how their offspring run rings around them on a daily basis, much more than we are able to do to our mums and dads.

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The youngest generations might not know how to play kerby, but their grasp of technology and the opportunity that it brings borders on terrifying.

Last weekend, our eldest spent a decent chunk of a morning in her bedroom creating a PowerPoint presentation for Mrs Tapp and me, which she designed with the sole purpose of trying to convince us both how much we needed a dog in our lives.

It was a tour de force, one which served to reopen a debate that I thought had been shut down forever during the depths of the pandemic when puppies were as much in demand as toilet rolls and pasta.

In a handful of beautifully crafted slides, she articulated her argument for having a four-legged friend as adeptly as a seasoned lobbyist would seek to convince a politician to change their position on a particular policy.

Pictures of a variety of breeds, including a cuddly-looking French Bulldog and King Charles Spaniel, were expertly dotted around the text, which read more like a political manifesto, rather than the bold promises of a 12-year-old, who would say anything to get a new pet.

Although it will take more than an expert presentation to make me change my mind on not wanting a dog, it serves as a stark reminder of how far pester power has come in four decades.

Back in the eighties when I desperately wanted something, the most effort I would go to would be to draw up a simple note, written with all the passion of a kidnapper’s ransom demand.

Today’s kids not only have technology at their disposal, but they also have the know-how to make it work to their advantage.

However, this savvy generation will need all the tools they can lay their hands on if they are to overcome the challenges they are set to face.

Anybody who has witnessed the recent climate change demonstrations in cities around the world will know how the kids of today are already making sure that their voices are being heard.

News bulletins over the past week or so have featured interviews with primary and secondary school pupils who, following the lead of their teenage heroine Greta Thunberg, have made passionate demands that leaders take immediate action to tackle the world’s most pressing crisis.

There are many who don’t like hearing uncomfortable truths from children, especially if they infer that older generations have let them down through inaction.

Nobody likes to be schooled by kids, but perhaps it is time to listen and stop dismissing their very valid concerns as hysteria.

Rather than sneers, young activists deserve applause for caring enough to take to the streets and force their opinions to be heard.

Not only are they standing up for our planet, but they are also doing much to consign to history the stereotype that children and teens only really care about having a good time.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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