Bridging Generational Gaps With Technology, How Different Age Groups Are Catching Up With Tech Trends
The older generations should consider being more explorative than they have been and be more susceptible to change if they want to fill in the gaps between the generations.
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There’s no sugarcoating the truth that different generations interact with technology differently.
Tech-savviness isn’t necessarily something that runs in the family.
To some degree, it’s actually something we’re born into, depending on how tech-forward the world was when we entered it.
This is a part of the reason younger generations are more comfortable interacting with technology, because they know the world no other way.
They’re digital natives. It’s also why older generations may be more hesitant about engaging in online activities, because they must adapt to them. They’re digital immigrants.
According to Instagram strategist and social media expert Chuojashni Subramaniam, this isn’t necessarily bad.
“A 3-year-old child can operate an iPad way better than a 50-year-old person. That says a lot about how far we’ve advanced as a society. Thirty years back this probably wasn’t something anyone thought about at all,” she told The Rakyat Post.
However, Chuojashni also pointed out that this also may fuel the already obvious gap between the generations.
I believe the older generation may catch up if they take it one step at a time. While most of the older generation loved button phones, most of them are using smartphones right now. They have come a long way. Most of them are adapting to advanced technology even though it is not as fast as the younger generation. They just have to be more explorative than they have been and be more susceptible to change.Chuojashni Subramaniam, Instagram strategist and social media expert
On the other hand, International Islamic University Malaysia assistant professor Dr Shafizan Mohamed said generational gaps are natural and we will have these gaps with or without technology.
However, in the digital age we live in today, technology has definitely come off as the biggest contributor to this gap.
IIUM assistant professor Dr Shafizan Mohamed
I think technology has influenced the differences in attitudes. The older gen have a somewhat negative perception towards the younger generations who are more adaptable and dependent on said technological advances.
According to Shafizan, this especially makes it harder for those in the older generations such as the Baby Boomers to adapt to the advancements that make life easier today.
Generation X and the millennials, however, are more welcoming to these technological advancements.
A study done by US think tank Pew Research Center found that millennials have often led older Americans in their adoption and use of technology, and this largely holds true today.
It also found that there has been significant growth in tech adoption since 2012 among older generations – particularly Gen Xers.
Shafizan added that while this gap may come off as negative to many, it also has a positive side to it given that it encourages intergenerational learning between the generations.
This is where both generations can exchange the knowledge that they possess. When we are willing to learn from one another it births a kind of diversity in terms of knowledge, in terms of life experiences and in terms of solutions to world problems.IIUM assistant professor Dr Shafizan Mohamed
Shafizan also pointed out that this does not mean that the older generation should be forced to learn everything about technology but be taught to mainly pay attention to the most important parts of it such as its use for socialization, communication and health support.
Wrapping up, here are some questions to ponder upon.
Which generation do you think you fall into and what does technological advancement mean to you?
Share your thoughts with us on TRP’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.