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Closing the gap

Life in a fast-changing society left old school tenets on the boat and embarked on a more accessible digital vessel, causing a massive gap between generations.

It is no secret how relationships between digital natives and adults are complex. Difficulties arise as a result of the differences in age, values, recreational preferences, and activities.

“When we were your age, we were more scholarly, obedient, helpful, and nice…” How often this line is heard with distaste?

At home, parents complain about their children’s behavior. Common protests are the child spends so much time in front of his gadget and he is too lazy to do household chores assigned to him.

In school, teachers often complain that their teen-aged students prefer doing online activities than schoolwork thus their students’ intellect and writing talents are left idle.

There was this boy who disagreed with the methods his teacher was using. Why would he still use manila papers in his lectures when he can just use digital projector? The teacher then explained his situation saying he knew nothing about technology because he was born in Industrial Age; the report made is from his effort. The boy answered saying his report looked too boring and the letters were so small. To avoid such difficulty again, the boy offered to help and even encode his teacher’s report for the class so his teacher will present it with his aid. Understanding and compromising did the work for the most part.

One issue is how students treat their teacher as if the latter is a fellow student. Other teachers love how their students strive to maintain a friendly atmosphere between them, but others dislike it saying they should maintain the student-teacher relationship to avoid complicating things.

It is not bad maintaining a friendly atmosphere nor saying, that they should use modern technology for the students to cope with the demands of modern time but to prevent such difficulties, the two teams must understand each other. 

As for the parents, they should have a serious talk to the children and explain the importance of communication verbally even though gadgets are present, and they must be resolute and tough enough to guide their children whether it is about their personal problems or school matters.

The unpleasant adolescent behavior is a result of normal growth driven by raging hormones and the digital milieu they are ensconced in. Parents and teachers should understand this behavior. Adolescents too, must understand that they grew up with a different set of time, and the gap which causes the conflict is normal.

So, what should be done?

Digital natives should adhere to the helpful values and efficient methods of the adults to recuperate their easy-go-lucky image. Digital apprentices on the other hand should acknowledge the environment they were born in was not the same anymore, and they should embrace new digital methods acquainted by digital citizens.

The issue here is not as to who is to adjust and who is not. Both generations should work together and capitalize on the strength of one another while mending the sores sewn in the process. Closing the gap would mean opening the mind for new remarkable possibilities.


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