Think for a moment about the changes that have taken place over the last few generations. It sounds cliché, but we’re definitely living in a new day. As I observe the realities of our time, I notice people have the same needs we did 50 years ago — the only difference is that we’ve found new ways to meet them. Some good, some… well, not so good. At times we actually drift into a “new normal” without noticing. For instance:
- Workouts… are the new work.
Generations ago, no one needed to go to a gym to lift weights or run. Many worked manual labor jobs on a farm or a factory. Now, we need gym memberships to stay fit.
- Movies… are the new books.
While I know books still sell, many from the emerging generation would rather wait for the movie to come out. They watch 35 movies for every one book they read.
- Musicians… are the new philosophers.
In times past, men like Socrates, Plato or Augustine gave us our worldview. Today, it’s Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber or Kanye West. Hmm…not sure they’re qualified.
- Athletes… are the new heroes.
Instead of statesmen or military generals, we choose celebrities from a playing field or basketball court… you know, people who throw a ball really well. Makes sense.
- Starbucks… is the new front porch.
My friend, Len Sweet, said it first. We used to gather on a neighbor’s porch to share community and drink lemonade. Today, we meet at a coffeehouse for a latte.
- Texts… are the new letter or phone call.
We used to take time to write a letter or even make a phone call. Today, we don’t have time for that nonsense. We text or tweet. It’s short and sweet.
- Facebook… is the new social hook up.
There was a time you had to go to a school dance or a church social to meet a special friend. Today, we do it virtually from the solitude of our bedrooms.
- Netflix… is the new Blockbuster.
Today, you don’t have to drive to a store to rent a video. In fact, you’re antiquated if you do. Just get the movie On-Demand, on your TV set… and don’t leave the couch.
- Smartphones… are the new Rolodex.
I remember using that little contact cardholder to look up numbers and network with people. Today, you have all those names and more on a portable device.
- Twitter… is the new headline news source.
We once read newspapers for the latest updates. Today, many don’t even visit websites. They see what tweets have come through to fill them in. Wow.
Some questions for you: Are we moving in a good direction or a bad one? Can you think of any other shifts that have taken place? What must we do to adapt to our new day but still build the timeless virtues into our students?
Find out how adults can equip young people to lead us into the future in our best-selling book Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future.
Generation iY helps adults:
- Guide unprepared adolescents and at-risk kids to productive adulthood
- Correct crippling parenting styles
- Repair damage from (unintentional) lies we’ve told kids
- Guide young people toward real success instead of superficial “self-esteem”
- Adopt education strategies that engage (instead of bore) an “I” generation
- Employ their strengths and work with their weaknesses on the job