Before you point your finger at the screen and conclude that I’ve inadvertently given away my age by speaking about generations x and y, you’re only partially right. I hasten to add that I’m part of generation y, but as with all of these mechanisms of classification, painting everybody who falls into a certain age group with one brush never makes for an accurate way of characterising people. I see this particularly in relation to the differences – the stark differences I notice between even two best friends who are the exact same age. What then about the differences between people who are grouped into the same category when the differences in their ages can be as vast as a couple of decades?
Truth be told however, as much criticism as is justifiably levelled at classification systems such as those citing generations y and z, some of the common characteristics attributed to those groups are quite accurate. Of course I speak relatively here.
The inspiration for this discussion actually came from a very expensive lesson I learned about the so-called generation z, which is the age group into which one of my nephews falls. Upon noticing just how many photos he takes with his smartphone, I sort of figured he harboured a burning passion for photography. I really don’t think I jumped the gun here because in fairness, if you were to have a look through his computer’s pictures folder, you’ll see an extensive collection of some really good snaps he took with his smartphone, and I’m NOT talking about selfies here. I went and bought him a top-of-the-range camera (I know it’s top-of-the-range because I paid a handsome, handsome fee for it), yet he doesn’t use it, at all! Anyway, I think he’ll one day grow into using it because he has a real flair for taking pictures that tell a good story of what is going on. You can just see and almost feel the warm summer air when you just look at one of his photos of a trip we all went on, for instance. So I’m hoping he’ll one day realise photography may be his calling.
Anyway, this was quite an expensive lesson on one of the more common characteristics of someone coming out of generation z. These kids don’t really care about how things are done, but are more concerned about getting them done. I truly feel this otherwise positive trait is misplaced however, because they tend to only want to do things so that they can show off to their peers about whatever it is they’ve gotten up to. It seems to be more about just collecting as many pics as he can, in the case of my nephew, during which rapid “evidence-gathering” process he seems to be overlooking just how talented he is in what can be a very lucrative field of photography.
As for us who fall into the generation y category, it appears as if our love for gathering photographic evidence is also a bit of a misguided one. We should step outside and actually enjoy the summery outdoors more, only pausing to take one or two pictures for our own memory preservation purposes. That’s not going to happen though…