I am iGen

I what is iGen? It is the generation of folks who grew up with half or more of their lives sans internet, wireless phones, etc.

We didn’t “graduate” from ridiculous grades like pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and elementary school.

We were neither awarded for nor acknowledged for simply showing up at school.

Children were held back a grade for a reason. No one could simply opt-out of taking tests and teachers were not put on the hot seat for one or two failing kids.

Also, “bullying” meant getting punched, shoved or meeting in the parking lot to scrap for a bit. NOW it is considered bullying if someone looks at you funny or if the same uncoordinated kid is always picked last for “Dodge Ball”. Oh wait, Dodge Ball is not allowed in schools anymore!

Don’t get me wrong, REAL bullying today is saddening, scary and disturbing. Cyber bullying is real and ass-kickings have turned into YouTube sensations of grotesque proportions.

Remember when kids respected and feared adults, including teachers? Teachers (and our friends parents’) could actually discipline us without the fear of being fired. Adults were called Mr., Mrs. and Miss (insert last name).

And, remember in sporting and educational competitions when there was always a distinct winner and a distinct loser? It made us want to work harder, practice more and be better than our previous selves.

Don’t get me wrong, awards were given for just being there, but it wasn’t a huge deal if that did happen.

I remember, when I was ten, getting an “honorable mention” certificate at a craft show and thinking to myself; “why even acknowledge my shitty work?” I knew it sucked, they knew it sucked, yet, they wanted to give preverbal “pats on the head” to those of us who didn’t do well. Jokes on you Bangor State Fair, look how crafty I am now!

NOW kids are being rewarded for having zero skill sets…. just look at Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber.

Punctuation and grammar used to actually matter. Now, mispronouncing a word or defying a words meaning, will end up viral and in the Urban Dictionary.

We didn’t have an “app” for anything, and, I’m even not positive if “app” was even a shortened version of any of the following:

Appetizer
Application
Apartment
Appointment

We had encyclopedias, national geographic, microfiche, card catalogues and the dreaded dui decimal system. (I’m still not sure what that is).

I grew up without flat screen TV’s. I had landlines with a spiral cords that stretched across the room, a phone shaped like a hamburger (I know how to untangle said cords very fast by the way), VCRs, cassette tapes, tape recorders, answering machines and video cameras the size of Pluto.

We didn’t have a computers, smart phones, internet or wi-fi. The emergency broadcast system alert reminds me of dial-up AOL.

And, playing outside meant just that, playing outside… bumps, bruises, cuts, broken bones, knocked out teeth, no shoes, dirt, balance and grit.

We knew when it was time to come home when we heard the echoey yells of our mothers calling to us from the porch.

I look up every once and again to soak in my futures past, only to see everyone else looking down at their phones and think… well, I do that now as well and it’s not all that bad.

I just want more out of our future generation for a tough, strong, well-rounded, educated and bright future. Not a bunch of cry babies who are offended by everything.

I’m tired of walking on eggshells around those types of folks. It’s incredibly narcissistic for those who are offended by something as simple as a sneeze to expect the world to cater to them….. but that’s a whole new topic.

I’m a proud, tough iGen-er. iGens, unite.