The generation of Now
A post on the TED conversations board, ‘The Culture of Want; the Now generation‘ sparked a lively debate among the TEDxBrighton committee the other week. There being a generation gap theme to it, it resonated somewhat with our upcoming TEDx event.
“It is becoming more and more clear that my generation, the generation that is starting to graduate from high school and enter this world, has become a generation based on instant gratification. (from Kieran Preissler)”
The original post has a clear leaning towards exploration of materialism, and the comments tend to follow this vein. However it’s worth noting that (if we wish to label it as such) a culture of immediacy, instant gratification and ‘now’ could apply as equally to knowledge and experiences as it does to products.
A reply on the thread sketches out further thoughts on the question of generational difference,
“… the game was set long before your generation was born, the western economies were already consumption oriented and you are now realising this led to changes in society as well. Your generation’s behaviour is just the result of the society you have been educated in. Things will not change soon enough because old habits die hard.” (contributed by Erik Danziger)
Bleak outlooks and sweeping generalisations aside, the role of different generations in addressing social concerns is a subject of great importance. As is a critical appraisal of where we’re going in order to decide where the biggest concerns lie. Generational differences naturally loom large in each because the changing generations also track the passage of history.
With that in mind, we’ll be exploring this idea of a culture of instant gratification from the perspective of the generation gap over the next few weeks, roughly following the mind map-esque scrawling pictured above. Is any difference observed between generations to do more with different attitudes or with new technology? If it is a difference in attitude, then why might this be and what responsibility do different generations bear for the current reality and future of society?
As ever, we’d really love your thoughts on this and hope someone (or some-several?) will be itching to share their tuppence worth as we go through this short series of posts.