Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Generation Gaap

Every year the faculty of Wisconsin’s Belboit College gathers information about the incoming freshmen which is compiled into a list called the Mindset List. Its purpose is to “help the professors avoid dated references and understand the perspective of the next generation.”

Here are some interesting tidbits gathered from the class of 2014:

- Few entering college this year have ever written in cursive

- They have never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone (understandable in this age of mobile phones)

- They rarely use email much less snail mail as it is too slow preferring to communicate through Facebook etc.

- They never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day since they don’t own watches and instead use their cellphones to tell the time

While the “no cursive writing” and “cordless phones” are understandable, I have a hard time wrapping my brain over the last two items. Email is considered slow now? And I just don’t understand how the hand gesture to the wrist could be lost on anyone even if they didn’t own a watch. Maybe I am getting old.

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