In my opinion, generation gap exist when the older generation stop learning and the younger generation stop talking. When the former refuse to keep up with the latest, the latter will find it difficult to strike up a conversation. Conversation is always two ways. Can't expect the former to keep on talking about the good old days, like a broken record, when the latter had never been there or done that. The latter on the other hand find it difficult to bring up current issues as the former will not understand their jargon, if they don't keep themselves up to date. Eventually all these leads to a deadlock and everyone stops talking, claiming that they don't understand each other.
I always wonder why, to some, as they grow older, perhaps upgraded themselves to be parents or grandparents, they tend to forget what it was like to be a child, a teenager or a young adult. Their role or purpose in life is to get more money and ensure all in the family have a good life. As they were striving out there to get more and more money, some how that part of their brain that keeps memories of their younger days got erased, unintentionally. They forget how it feels like to be a "younger generation" with the same "generation gap" they faces last time.
If only they could remember, then they would be able to empathize what the younger generation is going through and narrow the gap. I find that it is easier for the older generation to close the gap than the other way round. Most young people are not a very patience species. They get fire up very easily. So how can we expect them to close the gap when they themselves could not empathize how hurt the older generation feels when ever they snap back or stop talking all together. They have never been parents or grandparents before.
Is it so difficult to learn how to use the computer, take photos with a digital camera, use an Ipod, keep up with latest technology, understand the latest jargon that youngster speaks now a days. Is it so horrible to learn stuffs from a younger person. Yes, no doubt they have no patience and get agitated when asked to repeat. When there is a will there is always a way, right. Perhaps it was their pride, thinking that it is always the youngster to learn from the older person and not the other way round.
I have teenagers telling me that their mum thinks that facebooking are for children, blogging is a big deal because it is complicated. They even think that a personal computer is just another of those toys. Obviously they don't know how useful the internet is now a days.
By now you would be wondering who's side am I on. Well, I am a mother of two teenagers, in her early forties with a hubby that is 8 years my senior and I have to deal with a mother, a mother-in-law and a father-in-law who are in their 60s and 80s, not to mentioned dozens of in-laws, nieces and nephews. I get along very well with all generations and even there might be a small gap, to me it is just a crack. no ones perfect. I learned that in order to close that gap, just empathize.
To all those older folks who think that there is a generation gap, just swallow your pride and start learning. It is that simple. Thank you for you empathy and thanks for reading. Hope there will be no such thing as "generation gap" in your home.
Lets forget about the good old days for a while. Be a student again and start learning.