My mother kept ﬁddling with her mobile phone to unlock it until my four year old niece unlocked it and gave it to her. The look that the little one gave to her granny was worth clicking, as if saying “grow up”. This is probably a common experience for my generation i.e to see this disparity between the generation behind me and the one ahead of me. Their perceptive abilities and capabilities are enormously different and although the
communication devices are far too many but the communication between these two generation is minimal.
It is no doubt a beautiful sight when I see my nephew guiding my father on his laptop or when he is advising him about the applications available on the latest IPhone. My father who is in his sixties is someone whose formative years had nil technology in his surroundings and for him anything automated was a wonder. In his youth, radio was a fancy gadget and owning it was a rarity. The introduction of TV must have been such a wonderment to those fellows. As my father recalls, ʻTo own a TV was such an achievement. To have your neighbours sit and watch TV was a matter of great honor.ʼ One of his priced possession was a beautiful Remington typewriter which probably is still lying somewhere in one of the corners of the house and can fetch antique value.
That was the era when India was rising as an independent nation and still had to imbibe much from the world. The exposure to the world was limited because of conservative
foreign policies and electronic appliances were a distant dream for the common man. Its a pity that Bill Gates had already launched Microsoft in 1975 but it only made its way into the indian households in the nineties.
Then came the eighties which was an era of transition. Thanks to liberalisation in the Indian Foreign and Economic Policy, the exposure increased and now we not only had
coloured television but also video cassette players and recorders. Indian households became more comfortable as they now had appliances like mixers and grinders, washing machines etc. Music industry was dwarﬁng its LPs to small cassettes and stereos were a huge charm amongst the youth.
The nineties swooped us away with a device called ʻCOMPUTERʼ. One had to shell out quite a bit out of his pocket to own one. My husband very passionately recalled his ﬁrst
computer which had a memory of 500 MB and invited envy from his mates. Who knew that in a couple of years time, this number would be on the shorter end of the spectrum. This decade saw an accelerated development in the Information Technology Industry. The “BOOM” had come and call centres were the most sought after amongst the youth. The virtual world was slowly paving its way into our lives.
With the turn of the century, ʻDIGITALʼ is the new mantra. A baby born in this decade is surrounded by gadgets and is more exposed to the virtual world than the real world. His picture is uploaded onto the internet as soon as he is born and his ﬁrst contact with his extended family is through devices like phones and skype. The techno-environment around him shapes his thinking patterns. He begins his techno-oriented education with the easily available mobile phones and by the time he is out of his diapers, he is adept at operating devices which his grandparents are usually still learning.
A major difference between these two generations is the patterns of their thought processess. The 2K generation thinks in a Flow Chart manner but the 1950s generation
thinks in a circular manner where the thoughts keep revolving and rotating and then go on tangents. The consequence being that the present generation feels the “oldies” are too complex and the senior citizens feel the newbies are too ʻpracticalʼ and linear in their thinking.
We are currently living in a “CLICK” operated civilization. The physical effort has been minimised and has almost been replaced by mental effort. The conscious mind has
evolved muti folds and has given rise to numerous inventions. The difference between the new and the old is of only few days. Innovation is the keyword as our senses keep looking for the better and smaller versions of gadgets. There is no end to innovation, so I wonder Iʼll be again standing at the same pedestal in front of my grandchildren, not with a phone though, but with something else which my imagination cannot fathom today.
You wouldnʼt believe all the stuff people had to know before computers